After 12 years with long stints in Crete it seems inevitable that eventually one of us would need health care whilst "at home" in Kritsa.
Unfortunately Alan has a nasty sore on his foot that became so infected antibiotics were obviously needed. (Good job we have a car here now so that I can drive.) The Dr we went to in Agios Nickolaos had a notice on the door saying he was on holiday for a week so we went to the hospital circa 6.30 p.m.
After wandering around trying to decide where to go we found an office with staff in and explained the problem. One of these people took us to a deserted seating area and said a Dr will be with you "soon". As you can imagine we doubted this so were amazed when 10 mins later a Dr arrived.
Concerned that the infection may have been worse than it appeared, the Dr insisted on a blood test before writing a prescription. The next step was to go to a "front desk" where Alan was registered on the system. Producing the EHIC card worked like magic - no further discussion as details we entered into a computer and a print out emerged to take for a blood test.
As there was no queue the test was immediate - then we returned 30 mins later to collect the results. After a further 15 mins we saw the Dr again who wrote a prescription and told Alan to return to the hospital after 5 days.
After visiting the chemist to get the prescription, iodine and dressings for the princely sum of €10 we were back home again by 9.00 p.m.
So, the purpose of this tale is to remind people to carry their EHIC card to Crete and if circumstances land you in hospital be confident that this little piece of plastic will carry you through.
I am very aware that the speed of being seen was due to us being out of hours so when we return today at 11.00 (a.m as suggested by the Dr to avoid the "rush") I'll take a book to while away the waiting time. The antibiotics have contained the infection but not beaten it so there could well be more tests before another course of tablets...