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Health Matters

For minor aches and pains you can go – without a doctor’s prescription – straight to a pharmacy; more so than in other countries medicine is dispensed over the counter. Medicine also appears to be cheaper than in other countries.

Homeopathic and herbal remedies are available, though are not as popular or as widely available as in other European countries.

There is one community health centre in Malia that employs two general practitioners. Community arrangements like EHIC apply here.

If you choose to be treated by a private doctor, you can make use of your private policy. Community arrangements do not apply, which leaves you responsible for complete financial cover of any treatment received. For emergencies that do not require hospitalization there are two medical centres in Malia and two in Stalis.

First Aid ambulance service (EKAB) is free from any phone (166)

Health hazards

Never go unprotected in the sun. To avoid sunburn, you should use a sunscreen lotion with high protection at all times. Cover up with a hat and a T-shirt; even on a cloudy day sunrays are intense. Especially on motor bikes and on boat trips with the wind to cool you off, you’ll be sunburnt before you know it.

To avoid sunstroke, avoid overexposure to the sun; wear a hat and drink plenty of fluids. By the time you are thirsty, dehydration is already happening. Symptoms of sunstroke include headache, dizziness and tiredness, which can be aggravated by alcohol. To treat sunstroke, stay out of the sun, drink water of fruit juice and cool your body with water and air co or a fan.

Mosquitoes in Crete, as in the rest of Greece, do not carry malaria. Forewarned is forearmed though in the battle against these persistent little monsters. The best defence in the battle with these suckers is a plug-in electric device; this works with tablets or a liquid, which, once plugged in, vaporizes an odourless insecticide. You could also opt to use insect repellents on either a chemical or on a natural basis. Both are available in pharmacies. Try burning sticks, incense coils or citronella candles for extra back up. Or drape mosquito nets over your bed. Once bitten, try to soothe the itching with some Fenistil® gel, or with some good old vinegar, dabbed on the bite.