On Friday, March 23rd, 2018, representatives of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation made visits to Komotini and Thessaloniki, in the areas where the construction of the new infrastructures will take place, within the framework of the SNF’s Health Initiative, with an initial budget expected to exceed $238 million.
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.