February 8, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

There are not enough medical workers in the country, as we are constantly told from TV screens, but this is true. We don’t “see” them, because doctors, as it turned out, prefer to work … on the islands.

The Aegean and North Macedonia are now preferred by Greek medical professionals for postgraduate practice, leaving behind Attica, the Peloponnese and the Ionian Islands. Although their number in the country increases slightly over time, by only 0.5%, reaching 66,504 in 2021, the “glut” of Attica with medical services makes graduates “flee” either to Central Macedonia, or to the islands of the North or South Aegean and Crete .

These figures were provided by the statistical agency ΕΛΣΤΑΤ. The study took into account medical workers of the country, in particular: dentists, pharmacists and physiotherapists, officially registered in their professional associations.

In total, there are 101,326 healthcare workers in the country as of 2021, up 0.8% from 2020. The largest increase was among physical therapists, reaching nearly 9,650, up 4.4% from 2020 and 8.8% from 2019.

In terms of doctors, their number increased by 6.4% in the North Aegean region, by 3.6% in Central Macedonia, by 3.4% in the South Aegean region, by 2.6% in Crete, by 2 .4% in Central Greece, 2.2% in Western Greece, 1.3% in Western Macedonia, 0.6% in Thessaly and only 0.1% in Epirus. On the contrary, a decrease in specialists was recorded: in the Peloponnese by 2.3%, in Attica by 1.2% and in the Ionian Islands by 0.6%.

Demanded specialties

In terms of medical specialties, young professionals prefer obstetrics-gynecology, cardiology, pediatrics and general medicine. In particular, among obstetricians-gynecologists there was an increase of 2%, cardiologists by 1.8%, pediatricians by 1.7% and general practitioners by 1.6%, while among microbiologists there was a decrease of 0.2%.

In total, there are 22.7 hospital doctors, 12.4 surgeons, 4.2 general practitioners, 3.6 pediatricians, 2.9 obstetricians and 2.1 psychiatrists per 10,000 inhabitants in the country.


There are 12.9 dentists per 10,000 population, almost half of them in Attica. In total, there are 13,759 dentists working in the country, which is 0.7% more than in 2020, of which 47.7% are located in Attica and 17.2% in Central Macedonia. The largest percentage increase in dentists in 2021 was observed in the South Aegean region (4.6%) and Epirus (3.4%), while the largest decrease was observed in the region of Central Greece (4.9%) and Western Macedonia (2.3% ).


The number of physiotherapists in 2021 reached 9649 compared to 9238 in 2020, an increase of 4.4%. The specialty has shown “increased interest” in recent years and a trend towards an increase in the number of trainees (up 8.8% compared to 2019, when 8869 physiotherapists were registered).

Today on 10,000 inhabitants account for 9 physiotherapistswith the highest concentration of specialists in the regions of Attica (11.6) and Central Macedonia (9.3) and the lowest in the South Aegean region (5.1).

The largest increase in the number of physiotherapists from 2020 to 2021 was in the South Aegean region, where it was reinforced by 15 additional physiotherapists (9.3% increase), and in the North Aegean region, where it was reinforced by 9 additional physiotherapists (increase by 6.4%).


The number of pharmacists working in pharmacies in 2021 remained stable compared to the previous year, although the number of active pharmacies was 10,400, 27 less than in 2020. In contrast, 9 additional pharmacies were established in the same year, reaching 145 out of 136 in 2020, representing a growth of 6.6%.

In particular, 24 new pharmacies were opened in Epirus (7.5%), 18 pharmacies in the southern Aegean (6.5%), 5 in Central Greece (1.2%), 11 in Central Macedonia, 2 in Attica and 1 in Western Macedonia.

However, 25 pharmacies in Thessaly (3.1%), 15 in Peloponnese (2.9%), 15 in Crete (2.6%), 13 pharmacies in East Macedonia and Thrace (2.3%), 13 in Western Greece (2%), 6 pharmacies in the North Aegean (3.3%) and one in the Ionian region were closed.

Despite these changes, the average is still 9.7 pharmacies per 10,000 inhabitants, although the ratio varies from 7.7 pharmacies in the North Aegean to 10.9 pharmacies in Thessaly per 10,000 inhabitants.

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