February 1, 2021

Why the strict legal framework for the protection of personal data makes Greece a safe destination for medical tourism

How many times have you thought that you would like to have a medical operation-surgery, however you were afraid that your name and all your sensitive personal data would not be safe and that discouraged you?

One of the advantages that a patient enjoys in Greece is the protection of his sensitive personal data. As early as May 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (widely known as GDPR) came into force, Greek medical companies and clinics as well as public hospitals have dynamically begun to comply with all the strict requirements foreseen in the Regulation.

The GDPR not only includes provisions for numerous rights for data subjects and correspondingly increased obligations for data controllers and processors, but also includes a specific provision for high fines in the event of infringement. In particular, companies’ non-compliance with their statutory obligations could be costly, as the estimated fines amount to up to 20 million euros or up to 4% of the companies’ annual global turnover. Therefore, and in order to avoid imposing a fine, most clinics in Greece have already established special internal procedures and policies for the protection of patients’ health data and activity file, have strengthened their information systems to avoid incidents of system breach, have appointed a DPO who undertakes the coordination and supervision of the observance of all the foreseen obligations and the satisfaction of the requests of the patients and they have proceeded to an impact assessment in cases that this was deemed necessary.

Therefore, when a patient chooses Greece as a destination for i.e. a medical operation, he should be aware that the security of his personal data is protected by the strong European legal framework and also by the national legislation (Law 4624/2019), which comes to complement and further enhance the rights of the patient.

So, the next time you’ll think about having a medical operation remember that in Greece the companies that have complied with the requirements of the legislation will keep your data safe and confidential.