ATHENS — For the past seven years, the Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) have traveled with a team of doctors and nurses to every corner of Greece, offering free medical services to residents of remote islands and regions.
The MMU program meets a pressing need for the residents of these areas: access to care. At the same time, it’s also helping ensure access to quality care into the future, through the medical students who volunteer to take part.
Τo date, more than 160 medical students have participated in MMU missions. Through the initiative, they have had the opportunity to see the importance of local medical treatment and routine examinations for the residents of remote areas who don’t have easy access to hospitals, to help respond to emergency situations, and to learn alongside experienced doctors and nurses.
Dimitra, one of the medical students who participated in the MMU mission to Patmos and Lipsi in October, said, “In Lipsi, although it’s an island with few inhabitants, I gained essential knowledge in clinical examination and primary care for orthopedic patients. In Patmos, I was very glad to experience surgical procedures and widen my knowledge in clinical examinations.”
Christina, who was part of the mission to Folegandros in June, focused on the program’s social impact. “Thanks to this experience, I found out, firsthand, about the needs of people living on remote islands. For a simple check-up, they have to travel to another island or even to Athens. This service is not only about physical but also about mental health, since the mere presence of a doctor imparts a sense of security to residents.”
Since 2014, the Mobile Medical Units have completed a total of 83 missions to isolated islands and remote regions of Greece. The MMU initiative was established by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and is carried out, with exclusive support from SNF, by the nonprofit Regeneration & Progress, in collaboration with Health Units SA.
If you are a medical student in Greece and would like to take part in Mobile Medical Units missions, you can express your interest here.