Greece

Working within health and care in Greece

The health and care sector is made up of hospitals, private nursing homes, complementary medicine and other human health and care activities. It represents a wide spectrum of organizations within the public, private and voluntary sectors. Opportunities within this sector are influenced substantially by national governmental policies, advancements in the provision of healthcare and technology and the demographic changes.

In Greece, the health and care services are provided by the welfare state, according to one's profession and social security status. The characteristics of this sector influence its relationship to the thematic fields of migration, work and health. Although Greece is in accordance with the relative European legislation, it is difficult to spot a policy towards migrant people in regard to the health and care professions. A foreigner who wishes to exercise a medical or paramedical profession in Greece is obliged to follow a specific procedure that entails the academic as well as the professional accreditation, the inscription to a relevant scientific association and the acquisition of a work license. Apart from that, the residents of non EU countries are not allowed to work in the public health and care sector.

However, it seems that recently the health and care sector provides a point of entry into the labour market for many migrants, especially women. Immigrant labour is drawn on to fill the most urgent needs at the lower end of the nursing care sector and gains access to these jobs. Migrant women provide a ready source of nursing staff, complementing  the local labour market while also contributing to the sustainability and reinforcement of the health and care sector. This is due to the fact that the welfare state and the large informal economy have led to the creation of the demand for this "new type of nurses" (otherwise called "quasi-nurses") which, on the one hand helps this welfare system to be perpetuated and, on the other, has implications on migrant women themselves as it contributes often to their exploitation, marginalisation and exclusion; the degree and forms that these processes take depend, to a large extent, on issues of gender, ethnicity and class. 

One the other hand, there is the argument that it would be a mistake to approach female immigrants in the hidden domestic economy as mere passive victims and/or condemned to remain silently marginalised. Their role should be viewed rather as active agents involved in a continuous process of contention and bargaining. Their employment is a response to the pressing care needs created by demographic and other socio-economic trends.

Having these realities and working conditions in mind, intensive efforts were made for the implemented PreQual - steps training course to be based on a high level of competency and capacity in order for the course participants to meet to the labour market's needs. Also, keeping in mind that, due to the Greek legal system, the possibility for these migrant women of finding a legal job in the public sector or studying at the Greek university is out of the question, it was decided that there would be a bigger focus on the practical courses rather than on the theoretical ones as it is most probable for these women to find a job in the private sector.
Given all that, great emphasis was given to the informal approval and recognition of the training courses, something that we believed possible to achieve as a consequence of the high quality that was being offered throughout the training courses.

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This section offers specific useful links and information regarding health and care in Greece, health and care professions, training institutions and other useful links.
For individual consultation please contact with Antigone/Greece.

GREEK WEBSITES ON NURSING

Health Science Journal
Hellenic Society of Nursing Research and Education
Panhellenic Nursing Federation
Information Helath Society and Documentation
ICUS and Nursing
Greek Operating Room Nurses Association

LIBRARIES-DATA BASES

IATROTEK
National Documentation Centre
Medline
HealthGate

Top Nursing Sites
Web Services Libraries EKPA

WEBSITES OF MEDICAL INTEREST 

EU PORTALON HEALTH
MEDinfo
Hellenic Centre for Infectious Diseases Control
Medlook
HealthOnline

TELEPHONE LINES

166 ΕΚΑΒ

1031 DRUGS

1535 IASIS

SOS 1056 FOR CHILDREN

NATIONAL TRANSPLANT ORGANISATION  1147 

TELEPHONE LINE OF SOCIAL HELP 197

INTERATIONAL NURSING ASSOCIATIONS

International Council of Nurses
World Health Organization
American Nurses Association
Canadian Nurses Association
Colegio de Enfermeras de Chile
Czech Nurses Association
European federation of Critical Care Nursing Associations
German Nurses Association
Irish Nurses Association
Japanese Nursing Association
L'association suisse des infirmieres et infirmiers (SBK-ASI)
Norwegian Nurses Association
EFN - European Federation of Nurses Associations
Swedish Association of Health Professionals
The Danish Nurses' Organization
The Finnish Federation of Nurses
The Singapore Nurses' Association
Organizacion Colegial de Enfermeria
Workgroup of European Nurse Researchers
European Federation Nursing Regulators (FEPI)