Health in Crete
Crete has no major health hazards nor any specfic ailments that can be caught when living in Crete. In fact the instance of influenza and the common cold from our experience is radically reduced when compared with living in the UK. However, despite this if you want to be cautious, then take the common internationally recognised vaccinations before leaving the country.
General medicines can be obtained from the chemist but if you need a specific treatment bring it with you because it maybe difficult to get in Crete. Information about you condition will be very useful when discussing it with your new Doctor in Crete and may ensure that you get the same medicine. Discuss this with your UK Doctor too!
The majority of tourists that visit Crete immediatley buy a six pack of mineral drinking water, which suggests that they have assumed that the tap water is undrinkable. The water in Crete is absolutley safe to drink and no risk to your health.
Unfortunatley, mosquitos do not distinguish their targets between fresh blooded tourists and those that live permanently. Mosquito bites are not a serious problem, but are very uncomfortable and irritating, take all the usual steps to fight them off or you will suffer.
Crete is very hot during the summer and many tourists get burnt because they want to get a tan fast in two weeks, when you live in Crete the pressure is off and you can take it easy with the sunbathing and still get a great result with the tan.
Crete has an easy way of life and drinking can also become very easy habit to fall into without knowing how its affecting your health. On holiday you expect to have a good time in tavernas and bars drinking raki and retsina, but when you live here it could be a party everyday, but your health will be at risk from too much alcohol.
Smoking in Crete is normal and is allowed everywhere except on buses and coaches, cigarettes are relatively cheap which does not help, if you are non smokers and want to live in Crete you must accept the fact that you will be in the minority.
Greek national hospitals are well equipped in the
major cities but can be overcrowded. The Crete hospital
system is different to the UK in a few areas.
There is no nursing service and no fixed visiting hours.
Crete hospitals expect the nursing to be arranged by the family and this is why anyone can visit at anytime to administer care and attention. In private hospitals you have to pay for a nurse to be dedicated to your needs, the conditions and services in private hospitals are a excellent but are very expensive.
Local Doctors are more than likely to be private and not connected to the National Health they can charge you what they want, its best to find out their prices first.
Chemists keep normal shop hours Monday to Friday. They are closed on Saturdays. If you need a chemist on closing days or at night you can see which one is open (there are generally a few in larger towns) in the list displayed in the window of every pharmacy. The list is in Greek however. The best solution is probably to take a taxi to the nearest one. An alternative is to find the open pharmacy (for Chania only).
Health insurance is required for treatment in hospitals and at the Doctors surgery, a good health insurance policy is essential. There are health insurance polices you can take out in the UK for health cover for ex pats anywhere in the world and there are insurance companies here in Crete.Documents - National Insurance