Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos, as well as Ministry of Health leadership and SNF representatives, attended the event, held at Sotiria Thoracic Diseases General Hospital in Athens on Wednesday, July 1.
The event covered the grants made to aid health authorities in Greece in responding to the pandemic as part of SNF’s $100 million (over €91 million) global COVID-19 relief initiative. A primary focus was SNF’s €16.5 million grant for renovations in 15 hospitals across Greece to accommodate the addition of 155 intensive care and 19 high-dependency beds, as well as implementation of educational programs for ICU staff.
In his remarks at the event, SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos, said, “It is widely accepted that the Greek state has so far acted swiftly in combatting to the pandemic, a response complemented by the responsibility shown by the public. We must remain vigilant and be prepared for any eventuality. We hope that this particular grant, which will create the infrastructure for the addition of ICU and high-dependency beds, will help public health authorities deal with any possible emergency, in the near and distant future. We are open to supporting any joint effort between the public and private sectors, since it is only together that we can find answers to complex current problems. We are here, and we remain present in order to act quickly and effectively, offering our help to those in need, to the extent of our capabilities.”
In his speech, the Greek Prime Minister said, “SNF has supported the Greek National Health System from the first moment the Foundation began serving society, particularly with uniquely Greek problems… not only with money, but with its know-how, since it is a foundation with a finger on the pulse of the most significant developments, especially in the area of medical science.” He also referred to the importance of public-private collaboration, remarking, “In this complex world, we need to find points of overlap and contact between the state, which has proven itself totally irreplaceable, and the private sector, civil society. To get together, to join our strengths, and to plan together for what I think is the main goal and the big challenge, especially for the health sector: what comes next for the Greek National Health System.”
SNF’s pandemic relief initiative also includes a $7.7million gesture of appreciation in recognition of the contributions of more than 4,700 doctors, nurses, and cleaning personnel working on the front line in ICUs and COVID-19 clinics at referral hospitals across Greece.
Bolstering health infrastructure in Greece through collaboration with the public sector is a longtime and continuing focus for SNF, which is also in the middle of a more than $400 million Health Initiative in the country. The initiative includes the construction of three new hospitals in Komotini, Thessaloniki, and Sparta, intended to be models in terms of care provided and environmental friendliness. The new hospitals will include a high proportion of ICU and high-dependency beds, and will have the capability to provide increased care in all beds. An additional €30 million was recently allocated to make the hospital buildings more sustainable. Designed to meet the highest international environmental standards, they will incorporate clean energy systems and have been included in the LEED International Special Program for Green Hospitals, with the goal of producing almost zero carbon emissions in line with European objectives for combatting climate change.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation continues its efforts to combat the effects of the pandemic and will soon announce a third round of grants as part of its global relief initiative.