The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) announced on Thursday that it will build three new hospitals and provide funding for other health initiatives in Greece which will together represent a donation of 420 million euros ($460 million) to healthcare in Greece.
The details of the extraordinarily generous philanthropic plan were unveiled by SNF President Andreas Drakopoulos at an event at the SNF Cultural Center, in the presence of Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“The goal is to improve health services for a better life,” Drakopoulos said before announcing that funding will be granted for the construction of the Komotini General Hospital, to be completed by June 2024; the Sparta General Hospital, to be completed by 2025; and the Thessaloniki Pediatric Hospital, to be completed by 2024.
The cost for each general hospital is budgeted at 90 million euros, and the children’s hospital, which will be designed by world-renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, at 150 million euros.
Piano, who has also designed the complex that includes SNF’s Cultural Center, the National Library and the National Opera, as well as the enormous Athens Riviera redevelopment project, said that his team was interested in creating high-quality and environmentally-friendly hospitals with a great deal of natural light.
Built and equipped by the Foundation, the three hospitals will be part of the National Health System (ESY), but will have administrative independence. Staff wages and setting up all the necessary related support infrastructures will be the responsibility of the state.
Drakopoulos also announced the organization’s gift of two airplanes and two helicopters – added to the donation of 143 ambulances for the emergency first aid service (EKAV) – for the transport of patients.
The charitable organization will also provide further funding for the University of Athens’ Nursing School programs and will update equipment for the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens as well as provide new equipment for hospitals in the cities of Heraklion, Ioannina, Larissa and Alexandroupolis.
The improvements made possible by the SNF will include the purchase and installation of PET scanners at selected state hospitals of Greece as well as training programs to manage trauma and prevent hospital-acquired infections.
Drakopoulos said that the SNF had begun implementing its grants throughout Greece after signing a memorandum of collaboration with the state in March of 2018. “We are a unified team working for the upgrading of health,” he stated in his concluding remarks.
(With information from AMNA)