The internationally renowned architect, Renzo Piano and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW), creators of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, who will undertake the design of the new infrastructure projects under the grant initiative, also participated in the visits.
Also present at the visits were the Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Pavlos Polakis and representatives of the Ministry of Health and the organizations whose work will be supported through the grants.
The visits mark the immediate start of the implementation of the initiative, which was announced by the SNF in September 2017. On Wednesday, March 21st, 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Greek State and the SNF, regarding the start of the projects’ implementation. The MoU was signed between the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras, and the Co-President of the SNF, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos.
The SNF’s initiative for supporting Greece’s Health sector includes the following actions:
• The design, the construction and the outfitting of a new building for the General Hospital of Komotini
• The design, the construction and the outfitting of a Children’s Hospital in Thessaloniki
• The design, the construction and the outfitting of a building to be erected in the current location of the buildings “Oikos Adelfon” (Sisters House) and “Adelfon Nosokomon” (Nursing Sisters) in the premises of the General Hospital “Evangelismos”, in order for it to serve as the Chair of the University’s Faculty of Nursing
• The procurement and the installation of equipment for the General Hospital “Evangelismos”
• The procurement of new equipment, as well as the maintenance of existing equipment, with the aim of strengthening the capability and efficiency of the National Center for Emergency Care’s (EKAV) air ambulance services
• The procurement and the installation of special medical equipment (PET – Positron emission tomography and the creation of radiopharmaceutical production units) in selected public medical institutions across the country
• Funding the formulation and the implementation of educational programs regarding hospital infections and the treatment of trauma
The erection of the new building to host the General Hospital of Komotini is a pivotal project, as the existing infrastructure is one of the oldest hospitals in Greece. The existing hospital accepts approximately 1,000 visitors on a monthly basis, while serving the needs of the residents of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.
Furthermore, the establishment of a Pediatric Hospital in Thessaloniki, in response to the decades-long need of the population in the wider region, will act as a major health service and treatment hub for the whole of Northern Greece and Thessaly.
During the visits, the Co-President of the SNF, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, stated: “With our new grant initiative for supporting the Health sector in our country, we are hoping to contribute to better access to health services for all our fellow citizens, of all ages. Today, we visited the General Hospital of Komotini, as well as the areas where the new hospitals will be erected, in Komotini and Thessaloniki, along with Renzo Piano and the RPBW team, and we are proceeding directly to the next steps in close cooperation with the competent bodies.”
The design of the infrastructure projects will be undertaken by the architectural firm RPBW, whose participation will contribute to the introduction of a new philosophy for harmonizing treatment areas with the natural environment.
On Saturday, March 24th, 2018, there was a corresponding technical visit at the Evangelismos Hospital, regarding the intervention that will take place in the hospital, as part of the grant initiative.
Since 1996, when the SNF began its grant making activity, the SNF has already provided grants of more than $130 million for the support of the Greek Health sector. Past grants in the health sector include the grant to EKAV, totaling $15 million, which was just completed, and covered the procurement of 143 state-of-the-art ambulances, as well as their full service and maintenance for a period of 8 years and the digital upgrade of EKAV’s operations center, the grant, totaling $23 million, to support the replacement of ten obsolete linear accelerators in public hospitals around the country, the grant for the renovation of all Pediatric Intensive Care Units (ICUs), as well as the grant for the construction and complete outfitting of hostels to house the relatives of patients in hospitals around the country. It is worth mentioning the initiative for the establishment of the Mobile Medical Units (MMU), in collaboration with the NGO “Regeneration and Progress” providing healthcare programs to residents of islands and remote areas in Greece.