All those posts about renewing books, and nobody seems really to have cottoned on to the fact – mentioned by Bobscott but it doesn't appear to have registered as the big step forward that it is – that you don’t actually need to renew your book now or hereafter. I’m as guilty of this as anyone.
For reasons lost in the mists of antiquity and unrelated to Brexit or my present insurance situation, I have been fighting for the last two years – thus far unsuccessfully, even with legal assistance - to get my IKA vivliario renewed. This has involved visits to four separate insurance bodies, several different offices and numerous officials in Rethymno, Heraklio and Athens.
(I suspect that the problem boils down to a peculiarity of the Greek bureaucratic system – that a public official at any level is terrified of making decisions particularly in out-of-the-ordinary cases, in case that decision rebounds on them. Or as the Greeks say, kάνει τη πάπια).
Anyway, today I went yet again to the nastiest of the offices and for once, hallelujah, encountered someone who was actually receptive and helpful. In the course of the conversation she confirmed that they are phasing out the vivliaria. “These days you just need your AMKA number and that will get you all your medical services – medicine, examinations, procedures. Soon the books won’t exist”
Now I already knew this with one part of my brain from another insurance body, and have in fact successfully claimed farmaka and injections without being asked for a book. (Still a bit nervous though about trying it out for the forthcoming surgery which is going to be post-Brexit).
But I've been doggedly and blinkeredly pursuing the vivliario as cast-iron proof of my historic insured status, without thinking about the bigger picture. I still can't have a book but as of today however I have a piece of paper which I am assured will verify it, officially, and satisfy the next link in the chain. (Don’t ask…)
But I have a question, The AMKA number which all Greeks, and most if not all of us expats have, is our Greek Social Security number, and is apparently issued in perpetuity just like a British National Insurance Number.. So, if it were to come to pass as I think Kilkis says above...
IKA/EOPPY/EFKA could turn off your entitlement in that system during the night of 29/30 March 2019 if no deal is agreed
...how are they going to do that, then? Delete all our AMKA numbers from the system? Can they tell from the numbers that we're not Greeks? Numbers all start with our birth dates,obviously, and I had assumed that maybe the suffix digits related to nationality but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Love the thought of a whole squad of specially-hired short-term-contracted accountants going through every AMKA number to weed out the newly-dodgy ones. “Ελα, ακόμα ένα Αγγλικό νούμερο Άντε χάσου. Kirie Smith!”