*The following process also applies to Ukrainian nationals that have been rejected and haven’t obtained the Temporary Protection status.
Health care is generally free for people who live legally in Greece. For people who are undocumented and they don't have Social Security numbers in case of a medical emergency, they can address hospitals that are on duty to receive medical care and treatment.
You need a Social Security number (PAAYPA or ΑΜΚΑ) in order:
- to have access to healthcare
- to work
- to get insurance for yourself and your family
Benefits that you have as a result of the National Insurance:
- Access to private doctors who are associated with the National Insurance System (EOPYY). There is an online list of medical specialities in detail on the EOPY webpage.
- 75% coverage of medical check-ups at private diagnostics centres.
- Partial coverage at medical pair of eyeglasses.
- Partial coverage at Physiotherapy Sessions, at Occupational Therapy Sessions and Speech Therapy Sessions.
In Greece, asylum seekers obtain a specific number named PAAYPA (Provisional Social Security and Health Care Number) indicated on their asylum card that provides access at Hospitals, Primary Medical Care (P.E.D.Y.), Health Centers, Local Health Units (T.O.M.Y.), at free medical check-ups and medicine.
Once an asylum seeker has been officially recognized as a refugee or granted subsidiary protection, he/she can acquire a permanent Social Security Number (A.M.K.A.) from the administrative services of E.F.K.A (Ε.Φ.Κ.Α), that gives him/her access to the same above-mentioned medical provisions.
Differences between PAAYPA and ΑΜΚA
Since January 2020, asylum seekers can only get a “Provisional Social Security and Health Care Number” (in Greek, «Προσωρινός Αριθμός Ασφάλισης και Υγειονομικής Περίθαλψης Αλλοδαπού/ Prosorinos arithmos Asfalisis kai Igionomikis Perithalpsis / ΠΑΑΥΠΑ»), while refugees are entitled to get a permanent social security number (still called “AMKA”»).
Ukranian Nationals who have obtained the Temporary Protection status can use the AMKA number noted on the Temporary Protection card.
When and how can you get a PAAYPA
If you apply for international protection in Greece now, the Asylum Service will provide you with a Full Registration Card, on which PAAYPA is indicated. As long as you remain a full registration card holder, PAAYPA remains valid, giving you free access to health care.
- If you have applied for international protection before January 2020 and are still an asylum seeker, you will get a PAAYPA number next time you renew your full registration card.
- If you already have an AMKA and are still an asylum seeker, AMKA will automatically turn into PAAYPA. This will be indicated on your registration card the next time you renew it.
You can access the electronic platform of IDIKA and check if you have PAAYPA (Provisional Social Security and Health Care Number -PAAYPA), without the need to visit the offices.
When and how can you get an ΑΜΚΑ?
If you are granted refugee status or subsidiary protection, PAAYPA will be deactivated and turned to AMKA one month after obtaining your residence permit. But in such a case, you can apply and turn PAAYPA into ΑΜΚΑ (a permanent social security number).
Ukranian Nationals who have obtained the Temporary Protection status receive the AMKA immediately once they receive their Temporary Protection card. You might need to activate the AMKA number by visiting a KEP office (Citizen Service Centers).
Can I get an AMKA for my children and other family members?
Yes. To get an AMKA for your children, bring:
- Their Residence Permit
- All other documents they have
You can get an adult relative an AMKA, bringing with you:
- His or her Residence Permit
- All the other documents he or she may have
- An official letter in Greek, signed by your adult relative and officially stamped in a KEP office, authorizing you to represent him or her at a KEP office, specifically to get him or her an AMKA. Find an editable sample of this letter here. Find an English translation of the letter here.
I am under 18, without a parent in Greece. Can I get an AMKA?
Yes, you can go to a KEP office and get an AMKA. Bring with you either:
Ask your guardian or a social worker to accompany you. An adult who is responsible for you should be with you at a KEP office, but his or her AMKA won't be linked with yours.
Getting a National Insurance Νumber (ΑΜΑ Number) by EFKA
All people who live legally in Greece and have the right to work in Greece, after they get a job offer, they need to get AMA Number (National Insurance Number). Your employer needs AMA Number to complete the hiring. After that, you will be able to have a work contract, and your employer will be able to make National Insurance contributions for you.
To get an AMA Number, you need to go in person to the EFKA office closest to where you live, depending on your address Visit the Registry Department (“Μητρώο Ασφαλισμένων”). You do not need an appointment. You can find a list of EFKA offices (in Greek) here.
You should have with you:
- Your Full Registration card or your residence permit (and passport, if you have one)
- A copy of your AMKA document
- Your employer’s letter for a job offer («βεβαίωση πρόσληψης»)
- Proof of address (this is needed for the EFKA officer to check if you have gone to the competent EFKA office)
Tell the officer that you have a job offer and want to register.
After 5 months of employment, you can have access to the National Insurance System, which enables you to have even more benefits in Health Care.
Mental health services in Greece
Some organisations in Greece want to help you if you are experiencing stress, worry, sadness, loneliness, anger, or depression, all feelings of being upset or annoyed due to being unable to change or achieve something.
If you need psychiatric medication, try to get PAAYPA or a Greek social security number (AMKA), then visit a doctor. If you can’t get a PAAYPA or an AMKA number, under current Greek policy, you can still get psychiatric medication for free. In Greece, psychiatric medications are a special category called “psychiatric and neurological medications.” This category has special rules. If you need psychiatric and neurological medications, you need a prescription signed by a psychiatrist or neurologist working at Hospitals, Primary Medical Care (P.E.D.Y.) or Local Health Units (T.O.M.Y.).
You can use the prescription at pharmacies inside a Greek public hospital.