The long-term care for elderly in Greece is mainly provided by the state, by private non-profit organizations, by private profitable organizations, local authorities and the family itself, due to the cultural values found in the country. Therefore, the health care system in Greece is consisted of a mix of services.

The majority of the elderly live alone in their home or with their children. If they have special needs and health problems, they receive care mainly from the family, friends and neighbours, as the family continues to play a key role in the care of the elderly. In addition, the proportion of the elderly living in residential care institutions is traditionally very small. One of the main reasons for this is the insufficiency and the low quality of institutionalized care but also the disdain of many people to this kind of care (Koumanakos, 2015).

Due to the cultural norms, institutionalized care is not socially accepted or praised in the country. Moreover, the employment of migrant care workers has been an important part of care giving in the country, as the cheaper labour was favoured even before the austerity crisis that hit from 2009.  Both of these factors lead Greek families to hire privately migrant care-workers, who can be struggling to perform many of the tasks due to the lack of training that they have received.

In this way, migrant women play a crucial role in taking care for elderly family members. In some particular cases, couples can be both working in the informal care service sector in Greek families, while being undocumented. They provide cheap service and usually adapt their daily life in accordance with the Greek family’s needs.

Home Care Services remains a specialty that someone can acquire through informal vocational training. The overwhelming majority of caregivers in Greece are relatives of the family or migrants, which can be unqualified. The consequences of this can be more than serious from both ergonomic point of view and the significant risks for injuries.

Authorities, Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity

According to survey by the National Statistical Service of 2009, in Greece 229.400 people were employed in the sector of health and care services.  There has been no estimation of the number of informal caregivers that are active in Greece as of 2019.

In the public sector, the Health Care budget is set annually by the Ministry of the finance, taxes account 70% of financing of the National Health System the other part comes from social security and out-of-pocket payments.

The private care-giving sector is financed by the individuals, their families or private health insurance that they might have. The costs depend on the health issues found in each individual.

Laws for care work

Specific legislative controls exist to moderate the activities of third-party payers and service providers, purchasing processes, products pricing, reimbursement policy and official certification-licensing of health care professionals. Greece has incorporated into its national legislation the EU directives related to the professional qualifications of health care personnel, medical technology and equipment, pharmaceuticals and voluntary health insurance.

Recommendation policies for empowering the migrant domestic workers require structural changes in Greek policy in order to safeguard their labour rights. Greece should adopt bilateral agreement with main countries of origine in order to prevent the abusive situations.

Recommendation policies for labour right protection set up some long term objectives

The authorities should consider revising the regulations and set some minimum requirements, including minimum wage requirements and rest days.

Regulation and legislation of the nursing profession

Currently, in the beginning of 2019, the Greek Government is passing a series of legislations as a reform of Higher Education. Most of the technological educational institutions are either upgraded to universities or are being incorporated into existing universities as new faculties. This legislation is currently under implementation, and its consequences will be more visible from 2020 onwards. For nursing, those who previously graduated from technological educational institutions will have the opportunity for top-up programs to be upgraded to university graduates, whereas existing nursing students at technological institutions when they graduate are becoming by default university graduates.

Regarding the certification processes, the diplomas provided upon graduation by the Higher Education Nursing Institutions (universities and technological educational institutes) testify to the adequacy of knowledge and nursing skills. All nurses are required to be registered by the HRBN.

The aims of the HRBN3 are to ensure the health of the population through the maintenance of nurses’ professional practice. It holds the Professional Register Records and is responsible for licensing and disciplinary procedures. It is governed by a Temporary Executive Committee of 15 nurses and follows a recognition process for nursing in collaboration with the Hellenic National Academic Recognition and Information Centre (NARIC).4 There are also seven regional departments,5 each with its own structure and governance.

 Regulation of other types of caregiving (apart from nursing)

Many immigrants in Greece mainly woman hel greek families with the daily living as well as offering companioship to the elderly people.They do not perform  medical care (nurse) Caregivers are not nurses

The Greek health care sector is highly regulated by the central government. There is extensive legislation controlling the activities of third-party payers and providers of services, the purchasing process and the levels of prices and reimbursement, and training and licensing of health professionals.

Greece has incorporated the Eu directives into national legislation concerning professional qualifications of health personnel, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and voluntary health insurance.

Legal Procedures

However, for the recognition of degrees e.g.  that there is DOATAP .Since an immigrant has a legal residence permit and a recognized degree, he or she does have the same rights / obligations as the others. the Article 47 of Law 4604/2019 which abolished the distinction in public employment on the grounds of origin.


As an employer of migrant workers, what do I need to know more?

Procedures for the care worker to recognize documents/certificates

For Greek citizens
  1. Secondary school diplomas
For Immigrants
  1. Greek language very good level cerified from the Univerity of Aegean and Aristotelous
  2. Τhe equivalent original degree in case not study in greek school
  3. translated original degree and translated of the      equivalent issued by state institution

As regards the validation of technical and vocational training qualifications acquired abroad, the competent authority in Greece is EOPPEP (National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance, while as regards tertiary education diplomas, DOATAP (Hellenic National Academic Recognition Information 25

A recent positive evolution towards equal opportunities in terms of labour participation was the Article 47 of Law 4604/2019 which abolished the distinction in public employment on the grounds of origin.

Center) is the responsible Organisation for the recognition of university or technological degrees that are awarded by foreign Higher Education Institutions.

Training opportunities

There is some invitation for training opportunities for trainers and trainees working in public and private health care under a range of critters.

Training opportunities are for all the residents the same procedure and the same rights with the difference that immigrants need to show (if not a Greek degree) the equivalent degree recognised by the relevant Greek institution and translated.

With respect to education level, the migrants involved in mobility schemes are of relatively low educational capital and work as unskilled or semi-skilled workers (Gemi, 2013: 27) It is worth noting that university and vocational education institute graduates belong to the group of the second or ‘one-and-a-half’ generations: some were students, while others completed their studies in Greece

Domestic work in general

Domestic work is in great demand among Greek households. Migrant workers, in particular migrant women, have been filling this need for several decades now, often under seriously exploitative terms. The procedure to recruit migrant domestic workers from abroad is higly bureaucratic and deters potential employers from registering their demand with the competent authorities. By way of illustration, in 2014, only eight work permits for dome4stic workers were approved in Greece. The absence of legal residence is in turn associated with inferior working conditions; the employees’ expectations are lower, while fear of deportation discourages victims from reporting situation of abuse, thus cultivating a sense of impunity among employers.

A recent positive evolution towards equal opportunities in terms of labour participation was the article 47 of Law 4604/2019, which abolished the distinction in public employment on the grounds of origin.