Greece for IVF-it’s no holiday !

Over the years there has been an increasing number of foreigners coming to Greece for IVF treatment. The temptation of low prices, high success rates and the liberal law (compared to several countries in the EU) makes Athens and Greece in general an attraction location. Not Holiday location-not for tourism…Medical tourism.

Being British born and bred I quite like the idea of Brits travelling to my unit, voting with their feet, avoiding the stuffy NHS and the post code lottery.

Do you know it is easier for many to fly to Greece on an economy airline for an IVF treatment ultrasound scan than to attempt to justify a scan to the “more than my jobsworth” IVF employee? *

But, and here’s the big BUT don’t be fooled into the idea of combining it with a holiday! The idea sounds appealing 2 in 1 but IVF treatment at the best of times is stressful; combine this with the reality of problems associated with being abroad and you can double your trouble.

We always try to help our foreign visitors as much as possible (to travel to the hospital, to be seen quickly by our English speaking staff…and generally to be lead by the hand) while in the hospital. But other activities we have no control.

So, if you are thinking of going for a wander or a little trip think of the following….

Difficulty in finding a taxi that will a) stop for you and b) take you where you want to go.

Delays in ferry boats and plane departures.

Queuing for something (anything) in a shop, a bar, a bank, a chemist ….when no Greek has heard of the concept of a queue!

Trying to use your credit card when no-one will accept it.

Travelling with a suitcase full of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals (in the summer).
Lugging your bags around the tourist sights.

One or more of the above is likely to happen to you adding stress and inconvenience to your program.

My advice is to come…take advantage of the benefits that IVF in Greece has to offer but Stay in a hotel close to the hospital and just veg out, take the time to relax, read a book, watch DVD’s or do something you normally don’t have the time to do….a change is as good as a rest.

*If your doing IVF in a foreign country it’s difficult to obtain preliminary work up in your own country.

Giles Palmer

Mitera General, Maternity & Children's Hospital


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