17 MAY 2019 / Presentation of Study Findings on Palliative Care in Greece

It is estimated that in Greece, approximately 62,000 patients annually suffering from malignant and cardiovascular diseases, nephropathies, and dozens of other complicated and serious illnesses require daily care services, but the structures and programs currently in operation are not able to serve their needs.

This percentage, and dozens of other data points have emerged from a study on palliative care in Greece, presented by the Ministry of Health at a press conference held on Friday, May 18.

Given the shortcomings in the field of palliative care in Greece, the Ministry of Health, with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), has undertaken for the first time an initiative to investigate and address the issue. The initiative is divided into three stages. The first stage involves the study in cooperation with The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) for the situation and the submission of proposals to address it, while the next two stages concern the development of a national strategy and its implementation.

As part of the effort to strengthen the Public Health sector in Greece, the SNF has carried out a number of grants, including, among others, the replacement of 10 linear accelerators in 7 public hospitals around the country, the procurement of 143 state-of-the-art ambulances and their full maintenance for 8 years, and the construction and complete outfitting of hostels to house the relatives of patients in hospitals around the country.

The most recent SNF grant relates to the “Health Initiative,” which has been developing since September 2017, with a budget now expected to approach €300 million. The Initiative includes the creation of the new Komotini General Hospital and the University Children’s Hospital of Thessaloniki, support for the nursing sector, the enhancement of the National Center for Emergency Care’s (EKAV) medevac capacity, the procurement of specialized equipment for Greece’s public hospitals, and educational programs.

You can read the detailed study on palliative care in Greece here.