Immigration. Travel. Living.

Social welfare in Greece

Island in Greece

In Greece to everyone, especially the most vulnerable members of society, in the event of unemployment, motherhood, accidents, illness, disability, old age or other similar life circumstances.

In Greece social benefits and pensions are indexed according to the level of the subsistence level set by the government. The subsistence minimum is calculated based on a basket of food and other essential goods, the cost of housing and necessary services.

Social funds and payments make up in different years from 16 to 20% of the state budget, and the general aging of the nation gradually increases the share of social expenditures from the state treasury.

In order to increase the able-bodied population, Greece has repeatedly taken unprecedented steps. So in 1989 and 2001, 500,000 illegal migrants were legalized at once, mainly from the countries of Asia, Africa and Albania. With this step, the Greek government “killed two birds with one stone”: it took off the costs of forcibly sending migrants home and increased the collection of pension funds.

Medical care in Greece

doctor holding red stethoscope

The level of medicine in Greece is in line with the European average. However, progress has been made, only in recent years, before that the level of Greek medicine was depressingly low.

When planning to visit Greece, even for a short time, you should take care of health insurance. Otherwise, it means that you have to pay a lot to see a doctor at once. It is customary for doctors to pay on the spot in cash.

About 80% of the country’s working population is entitled to free medical care in Greece, paying a modest monthly amount to a special insurance fund. Often, the employer pays employees for insurance in full, or some part of it.

Public hospitals and clinics are located mainly in large cities – Athens and Thessaloniki. The population of small towns and villages is forced to travel to the capitals for treatment. Therefore, public hospitals are almost always overcrowded, and newly admitted patients can easily be identified in the corridor for several hours or even for several days.

The government plans to build several large hospitals in small towns in order to relieve the central hospitals. In the meantime, Athens and Thessaloniki provide 80% of all medical services in the country.

The state owns a total of 300 hospitals and health centers, which employ about 50 thousand doctors with higher education and about 130 thousand nurses. Wages in the medical sector are for 45% of total government spending on health, with the remainder going to hospital accounts to purchase medicines and equipment, and pay for the maintenance and development of medicine.

Greece, without exaggeration, can be considered the leader in the number of pharmacies per capita. The nearest pharmacy can be seen from the window of almost any Greek home in any city in this country. This is partly due to the workload of clinics, partly to the pastoral habits of people who trust the pharmacist, whom they have known for several decades, rather than the unfamiliar doctor in the capital, who is seen for the first time in their life.

Pension security in Greece

The state pension in Greece is equal to the subsistence minimum. The rest a person receives from private and public pension funds, where he pays, as a rule, all his life.

The activities of an insurance pension fund can be compared to the work of a bank. Just like banks, pension funds in Greece run their own business, investing in various business projects. The financial activities of pension funds often become the subject of noisy scandals related to theft of funds. But depositors have nothing to fear, since their social rights in Greece are protected and guaranteed by the state.

The earlier the insurance payments to one of the private pension funds begin, the better life awaits a person upon retirement. Some retirees, after paying off work according to their age, receive more than their salary at their main job.

There are several pension funds in which the conditions are almost the same. Therefore, the majority chooses this or that fund based on territorial characteristics. The conditions of the pension insurance are the provision of free medical care upon reaching the retirement age, the participation of the state in the purchase of medicines, and certain programs within the framework of the pension insurance allow free travel on vacation once a year.

Unemployment benefits in Greece

Unemployment benefits are administered by the national employment center OAED. In case of loss of work for any reason other than the initiative of the employee himself, he is paid an allowance equal to approximately 55% of the national minimum wage. An additional 10% of the benefit amount is paid for each dependent unemployed relative.

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