SNF Supports Program to Prevent Infections and Antibiotic Resistance in Greece
12 February 2021

A five-year national program for the prevention and control of hospital-acquired infections and antibiotic resistance in Greece is creating model public hospitals in those fields.

The program is made possible by an exclusive grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), as part of SNF’s €400 million-plus Health Initiative to support and enhance the health sector in Greece. Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the National Organization for Quality Assurance in Health (ODIPY) and the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Outcomes Research (CLEO), the program is now rolling out in full.

Initially, the following hospitals will be included in the program, in accordance with a relevant ministerial decision:

1. Athens General Children’s Hospital “Pan. & Aglaia Kyriakou” (1st HAA*)
2. General Children’s Hospital “Aghia Sophia” (1st HAA*)
3. Athens General Hospital “Evangelismos” (1st HAA*)
4. Athens General Anti-Cancer Hospital “Agios Savvas” (1st HAA*)
5. General University Hospital “Attikon” (2nd HAA*)
6. Papageorgiou General Hospital of Thessaloniki (3rd HAA)
7. Alexandroupolis General University Hospital (4th HAA)
8. General University Hospital of Larissa (5th HAA)
9. General University Hospital of Patras (Rio) (6th HAA)
10. General University Hospital of Heraklion “PAGNI” (7th HAA)

*HAA: Health Authority of Attica

Participating hospitals were selected by considering where needs were greatest, based on criteria such as bed capacity, severity of cases treated, and presence of intensive care, oncology, and surgical units, while simultaneously ensuring geographical distribution to cover as much Greece as possible.

The aim of the program is:

- To strengthen infection committees in the participating hospitals, in order to achieve a ratio of one infection control nurse for every 250 beds, in accordance with international guidelines.

- To develop a national system to monitor hospital-acquired infections and an antimicrobial resistance monitoring system, which will provide the necessary data to identify problem areas, monitor the progress of prevention policies and, ultimately, eliminate hospital-acquired infections and reduce antimicrobial resistance.

- To create a national education and training program, with accreditation, on the basic principles of hospital-acquired infection and antimicrobial resistance prevention and control.

Globally, the occurrence of adverse events due to unsafe provision of health care is one of the top 10 causes of death and disability. In OECD countries, it is estimated that 15% of total hospital activity and expenditure is a direct result of these adverse events, including hospital-acquired infections and antibiotic resistance.