PURPOSE More than 3 million people worldwide suffer from end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Even though regular hemodialysis is considered very costly, it is still the most commonly used method of treatment in Greece. The aim of this study is to provide a current estimate of the annual patient cost for ESRD-related regular hemodialysis, especially during a period of economic instability for Greece. METHODS Data was collected from 113 anonymous patient files from 3 dialysis units. The cost analysis includes the following parameters: hospitalization, disposable supplies, medication, meals, contaminants, human resources and equipment depreciation/utilization. RESULTS The cost of a regular hemodialysis session was estimated at €177.12. Human resources account for 43.53% of the hemodialysis cost, while expendable supplies and medication account for 24.79% and 21.16%, respectively. The total annual cost of ESRD per patient was calculated at €34,012.31, which breaks down into €27,630.72 (81.24%) for hemodialysis, €4,800.64 (14.11%) for hospitalization, €1,454.84 (4.28%) for laboratory tests and €126.11 (0.37%) for microsurgery. CONCLUSIONS ESRD entails a significant economic burden for the Greek health care system. In a current context of ongoing austerity measures, which severely pressure the health care budget, further research should be performed in order to identify possible ways to reduce costs and improve management of the disease.