National Center for Emergency Care (EKAV)

As part of its Initiative against the Greek crisis, and in addition to its regular grant-making activity, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) announced in April, 2017, a grant to the National Center for Emergency Care (EKAV) totaling 14 million euro, which entails the procurement of 143 state-of-the-art and fully equipped ambulances, as well as their full service and maintenance for a period of 8 years.

The grant has been completed and the complete fleet of ambulances has been distributed for operation to EKAV’s branches across Greece. The distribution began in January 2018 and was completed in March 2018. In addition, EKAV crew members were also trained in the operation of the new vehicles.

The grant covers the procurement of 143 state-of-the-art ambulances, including conventional ambulances, low-volume vehicles, 4x4 vehicles, and mobile medical units, some of which cover the needs of ambulance services with specialized equipment for newborns. Furthermore, the grant includes the ambulances’ full service and maintenance for 8 years. The grant aims to meet the basic need for open access to secondary and tertiary care for all residents of the country.

The new vehicles will cover the meeting of the basic need for open access in matters of secondary and tertiary care for all the residents of the country. 

Through its grant, the SNF has also supported the digital upgrade of EKAV’s Operations Center in Attica which receives more than 1,700,000 calls annually (EKAV 2016 data). The operations center consists of the electronic incident management application and the ambulance telematics tracking application. The upgrade includes the management of 200 fast response vehicles, operating in the Attica region, thus providing the possibility of improving response time by 25 percent. Furthermore, the grant has supported the expansion of the Thessaloniki Center’s existing system within the Attica Operations Center.

The following table lists the EKAV branches to which the 143 ambulances have been distributed.

 1 Central Service – Athens 58
 2 Thessaloniki  2
 3 Patras  19
 4 Heraklion, Crete  10
 5 Larissa  17
 6 Ioannina   4
 7 Alexandroupolis  1
 8 Mytilene    3
 9 Tripolis   6
10 Lamia  23


Since 1996, the SNF has provided grants of more than $130 million for the support of health programs in Greece. The grant to EKAV follows on the heels of previous important grants which have taken place over time, such as the grant totaling more than $23 million for the procurement and installation of ten linear accelerators in seven public hospitals, the grant for the renovation of all Pediatric Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in the country, as well as the construction and complete outfitting of hostels around Greece to host families of patients. In addition, the SNF’s initiative for the establishment of the Mobile Medical Units, in collaboration with the NGO “Regeneration and Progress”, has wielded important results in providing healthcare programs to residents of islands and remote areas in Greece.

With the completion of the grant to EKAV, the SNF turns its attention to the new grant initiative for supporting the Health sector in Greece, with a budget expected to exceed $238 million