ATHENS — The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) grant for renovations to add capacity for 175 additional intensive care unit (ICU) and high-dependency unit (HDU) beds at 15 hospitals in the Greek National Health System—from Attica to Thessaloniki and Lamia to Crete—has been largely completed and delivered.
Following the project schedule, facilities for 145 new ICU and HDU beds have already been delivered at the following hospitals: KAT, Evangelismos, Attikon University General Hospital, Paidon Agia Sofia, Ippokrateio Hospital Athens, Korgialenio-Benakio, Tzaneio, Vostanio Lesvos, Lamia General Hospital, G. Gennimatas, Agios Dimitrios and Ippokrateio in Thessaloniki, Agios Georgios in Chania, Venizelio in Heraklion and the University General Hospital of Heraklion. The beds in the new facilities are expected to serve more than 6,500 patients each year.
The €16.5 million SNF grant for the renovations to create new ICU and HDU spaces also includes a five-year educational program for doctors and nurses who work in ICUs.
SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos said, "The pandemic has reminded us, in the starkest terms, the need to support the National Health System, and especially the people who rely on it—patients for access to robust health services, as well as the medical, nursing, and support staff for the training, facilities and equipment they need to perform their jobs effectively. In collaboration with the public sector, we are here to support, to the best of our ability, the fundamental right everyone has to quality health services.”
The Greek Minister of Health, Vassilis Kikilias, said, "Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have moved forward, joining forces, true to the principle of a single and unified National Health System. The generous contribution of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in tackling this unprecedented public health crisis is valuable, ongoing, and multifaceted. It is a great legacy for the infrastructure of Greece’s health system, for the medical staff, for our fellow citizens, especially those in need."
SNF has collaborated with the Greek state, which is responsible for the procurement and installation of equipment, as well as staffing, for the ICUs and HDUs, which were prerequisites for the new facilities to begin their operation. The team at Hill International has also contributed significantly to the initiative by providing project management support on a pro bono basis.
The remaining renovation work at Evangelismos General Hospital and the University General Hospital of Heraklio (PAGNI) is currently on hold in accordance with guidelines set by the Ministry of Health, since their status as COVID-19 referral hospitals does not allow work to be performed on their premises at this time.
In May 2020, SNF completed a separate €7.7 million grant at Evangelismos Hospital, as part of the SNF Health Initiative, for the procurement and replacement of equipment including more than 850 hospital beds, of which 53 went to ICUs, HDUs, and the Heart Attack Unit.
The SNF grant for the new ICU and HDU facilities was announced in May 2020 as part of SNF’s $100 million global COVID-19 relief initiative.
To date, SNF has allocated grants totaling €80.2 million through the pandemic relief initiative. In Greece, €32.3 million has been provided to strengthen healthcare infrastructure; to help significantly increase testing capacity through procurement of molecular testing systems and necessary reagents; to sustain a COVID-19 psychological support hotline (10306); to combat the socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic by providing food aid and supporting particularly vulnerable groups; and in direct honoraria as a gesture of appreciation for the contributions of doctors, nurses, and cleaning crews working on the front lines of the pandemic, among other grants.