The offices of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the Quality of Health Care and Patient Safety will be located in Athens, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias and the WHO Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, announced on Friday after their meeting in Copenhagen.
“The choice of Greece is a recognition of the work by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek Ministry of Health and the Greek government in managing the pandemic and implementing public health policies, such as the successful implementation of the anti-smoking law, and promoting important reforms, such as passing the law for the establishment of the National Organisation for Quality Assurance in Health,” the health ministry said in a statement.
During the visit, an extensive discussion took place with the staff of the World Health Organisation and there was a commitment that the WHO will be a strong supporter of the promoted reforms in Primary Health Care.
The decision of the World Health Organisation – as pointed out by the health ministry – was based on a number of parameters, such as:
– The emergence of Greece as a protagonist, as it has shown resilience to the current health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
– The significant knowledge and experience gained by Greece in the field of quality of patient care and safety, with the legislation and the establishment of the National Organisation for Quality Assurance in Health. Practices that can be adapted to the needs of other countries in the WHO European Region.
– Successful management in the implementation of the anti-smoking law, which has improved the level of public health and safety of patients.
– The special features of Greece that can protect health and improve the quality of life, an element that has not been taken into account in the quality of care models. Greece, for example, with its record of longevity and the Mediterranean diet can be the perfect example for improving the quality of life in Europe.
– The experience of the Organisation’s Office in Greece in the transformation of health systems, which provides a strong base and an extensive network, on which future work will be based, even beyond the national level.
As stated in the joint statement issued after the meeting:
“Greece has recently led important developments in the field of health, such as legislation banning smoking in public places, the launch of the National Anti-Smoking Action Plan and reforms in the field of primary health care.
All the above, in combination with the excellence of the Greek health institutions and the leading researchers in the field of health and wellness, indicate a strong leadership within the European Region and beyond.
In addition, they create an ideal framework for the creation of a much-needed centre of excellence in the field of quality healthcare and patient safety.”