The amendment formally adds the creation of the new SNF General Hospital of Sparta and a suite of other new grants to the Health Initiative.
On Thursday, November 14, 2019, the Greek Parliament ratified an amendment to the Grant Contract between the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the Greek state for the infrastructure, equipment, and training projects that make up the SNF Health Initiative. The purpose of the amendment is to reflect developments that have arisen since the Grant Contract was ratified on September 20, 2018.
Ratification of this amendment to the Grant Contract is a milestone in the evolution of the initiative. It highlights the close cooperation between SNF and the Greek state and the mutual trust in a relationship that has proceeded smoothly since the initiative was announced in 2017.
The amendment to the Grant Contract formally incorporates new projects in the initiative and expands existing ones. The additions double the overall implementation cost of the Health Initiative from the initial projection, and the budget of the initiative, which is exclusively and fully funded by SNF and is now expected to exceed $450 million.
The amendment formally incorporates the following in the Grant Contract:
> Design, Construction, and Outfitting of the New SNF General Hospital of Sparta
In addition to the Health Initiative, this project is also part of a multidimensional SNF initiative aiming to help bring new vitality to the Prefecture of Laconia. Design of the new SNF General Hospital of Sparta will be undertaken by internationally renowned architect Renzo Piano and Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW), creators of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, who are also designing the new SNF General Hospital of Komotini and the SNF University Children’s Hospital of Thessaloniki. The new SNF General Hospital of Sparta is scheduled to be completed and delivered to the Greek state—and, by extension, to the people of Greece—in February 2025.
> Design and Construction of Open-Air Parking Lot and Helipad for the SNF University Children’s Hospital of Thessaloniki
The amendment to the Grant Contract ratifies the decision to create both a helipad for patient air transport and an open-air parking lot to better serve the needs of medical staff and patients at the SNF University Children’s Hospital of Thessaloniki.
Construction and outfitting of the SNF University Children’s Hospital of Thessaloniki, which will be the first pediatric hospital in Greece outside of Athens, is scheduled to be completed and delivered to the Greek state—and, by extension, to the people of Greece—in October 2024.
> New Grants to Support the Nursing Sector in Lieu of Construction of Headquarters for NKUA School Nursing Department at Evangelismos Hospital
In December 2018, despite efforts by SNF to find a mutually agreeable solution, it was decided to cancel the grant for the construction of a new building at Evangelismos Hospital in Athens following disagreement by the Board of Directors and the Hospital Employees' Association. The new building would have served as the headquarters of the Nursing Department of the School of Health Sciences of the National and Kapodistrian University (NKUA). Following these developments and in view of the immediate and substantial needs of the Greek nursing sector, SNF approved two new grants to the NKUA Nursing Department and to the Professional School of Nursing Assistants at Evangelismos Hospital. The amendment to the Contract reflects, among other things, these developments, the new grant conditions, and the obligations of the parties involved.
> New Medevac Helicopters for the National Center for Emergency Care
Following discussions between SNF and the Greek state on upgrading the National Center for Emergency Care’s (EKAV) medevac services, the procurement of two new helicopters was determined to be a more optimal solution than repair of existing ones, as originally proposed. The amendment to the Contract reflects this development, as well as the Greek state's commitment to provide for the maintenance of the medevac helicopters and of the two new medevac planes also being supplied through this component of the initiative. The two new airplanes and two new helicopters are scheduled to be delivered to the Greek state and the people of Greece in March 2021.
> Setting Deadlines for the Ratification of Individual Contracts
Building on the effective ongoing collaboration between SNF and the Greek state, it was decided by mutual agreement to set clear timetables for the ratification of the individual grant contracts as yet unratified, with the aim of expediting implementation of the projects. Specifically, the amendment to the Grant Contract sets December 31, 2019 as the deadline for the maturity and ratification of the four trauma treatment programs aimed at medical students, nursing students, physicians, and National Center for Emergency Care (EKAV) rescuers. It will also be the deadline for the training program on the use of laparoscopic surgery and arthroscopic simulators for surgeons, as well as the training program for the treatment of in-hospital infections. If these training programs are not ratified by the Greek state* within the deadline, they will, as jointly agreed, be excluded from the Health Initiative.
For the three hospital design, construction, and outfitting projects, the ratification deadlines are as follows:
• New SNF General Hospital of Komotini: January 31, 2020
• SNF University Children’s Hospital of Thessaloniki: May 31, 2020
• New SNF General Hospital of Sparta: November 30, 2020
*Note: The cancellation of the training program for the treatment of in-hospital infections was decided in mid-April, for reasons detailed in the 4th Regular Quarterly Progress Update. However, after discussions between SNF and the Greek state on the unquestionably serious effects of in-hospital infections on public health, it was decided to reexamine the situation and work to retain the program in the Health Initiative.
A few words on the SNF Health Initiative
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Health Initiative aims to improve the public health sector in Greece—and thereby healthcare for Greeks—in partnership with the Greek Ministry of Health. The total budget, fully and exclusively supported by SNF, is expected to exceed $450 million.
The Health Initiative includes the design, construction and equipment of the new SNF General Hospital of Komotini, the SNF University Children’s Hospital of Thessaloniki, and the new SNF General Hospital of Sparta. It includes the support for the Nursing Schools of Evangelismos Hospital and the Nursing Department of the School of Health Sciences of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. It also includes the procurement and installation of specialized medical equipment for Evangelismos Hospital and public hospitals throughout the country, the procurement of two new helicopters and two new airplanes for the National Center for Emergency Care’s (EKAB) medevac services, and the implementation of training programs for the treatment of in-hospital infections and trauma.
The Health Initiative follows SNF grants for the enhancement of the Health sector in Greece totaling $145 million, including a grant to the National Center for Emergency Care (EKAV) for the procurement of 143 ambulances and a grant for the procurement and installation of ten linear accelerators in seven public hospitals in the country. In addition, SNF’s initiative for the establishment of the Mobile Medical Units, in collaboration with the nonprofit Regeneration and Progress, has yielded significant results in providing healthcare to residents of islands and remote areas in Greece.