Medical assistance in Crete


There are many good doctors in Crete who speak one or more foreign languages. In all the tourist areas you will find plenty of good doctors and pharmacies that offer help in case of disease or accidents during your holiday. The Greek work for doctor is “Giatros”.


The pharmacies can often help with advice in minor cases and will help you with the name and address of a doctor if needed. The Greek word for Pharmacy is “Farmacia”.

Look for a green or red cross and do not hesitate to ask for help if you are in trouble. The Cretans are only happy to help you out.

Addresses for Doctors, dentists and Pharmacies

Emergency call 166


There are hospitals in the main cities. Emergency treatment is provided but you might have to provide the details of your health insurance. The hospital will normally recover their costs directly from them. This is the place to go if you have an accident or a serious disease. The Greek word for hospital is “Nosokomio”.

Hospitals in Crete are better than their reputation, some of them are rather old and crowded. But the medical care, is much better than what it is reputed to be. Most of the doctors will speak one or more foreign languages. The university hospital in Heraklion is a teaching hospital and has an excellent reputation.

A number of smaller localities have “health centers” for less serious problems. These are generally manned by a doctor and some nurses.


There are also plenty of good dentists. The dentist and dental technicians in Crete are very good and the prices are reasonable, so if you have a problem, do not hesitate to contact one.

Payment for health service

You will need to pay the doctor for a visit (in general it is pretty reasonable) and arrange for a refund through your health insurance yourself if you are entitled to it. At the hospital they will require details of your health insurance, and will normally recover the costs directly from your insurance.

Emergency phone numbers

  • Police: 100
  • Tourist police: 2821073333 in Chania,
  • – 28310 53450 & 28310 28156 in Rethymnon.
  • Fire brigade: 199
  • Ambulance: 166
  • ELPA: 104

Elpa is the national car breakdown service, if you are a subscriber to a similar service in another country, you might be covered.