WHO/Europe and the Greek Ministry of Health assess the state of hospitals in Greece

Honoring its commitment to supporting countries to improve health care systems and recognizing the changing role of hospitals in the WHO European Region, WHO/Europe, through the Quality of Care Office Athens and the WHO National Office in Greece, partnered with the Greek Ministry of Health to assess the state of hospitals in the country.

This assessment will provide the ministry with a clear picture of the current situation as well as the needs and gaps in the sector, and suggest a way forward for the most effective and efficient use of hospitals across the country.

Rethinking the role of hospitals in Europe and Central Asia

Hospitals play a fundamental role in achieving universal health coverage. They are an essential part of the wider healthcare system and can work hand-in-hand with primary care facilities to deliver essential services.

Over the past 3 years, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many hospitals, challenging them and exposing gaps in their structures and systems.

In April 2022, WHO convened a high-level expert meeting in Brussels, Belgium, to identify key challenges facing hospitals and discuss the changes needed to improve and prepare hospitals for future threats and crises. Panel discussions explored critical areas where more work is needed and future hospital policies, including those related to governance, financing and planning. Then the discussions were extended to specific countries like Greece.

State of hospitals in Greece

Between 5 and 7 September 2022, a team of WHO and healthcare experts visited several facilities in Athens to assess the condition of hospitals in the capital.

Dr Alexandre Lourenço, administrator of the Hospital and University Center of Coimbra in Portugal, and Professor Siniša Varga, former Minister of Health of Croatia, supported this mission, contributing to dialogues with the Greek authorities and providing recommendations on the best practices to address needs and gaps.

“Hospitals across Europe face enormous challenges in providing quality care. However, the development of hospital networks according to needs, volumes and levels of complexity, as well as the concentration of highly specialized and advanced services, has the potential to improve services,” said Dr Lourenço.

Dr João Breda, Head of WHO’s Quality of Care Office in Athens, explained: “These site visits, together with our study of the most effective and efficient way to organize the distribution and operation of hospitals across the country, will facilitate decision-making and support hospitals. transformation, improving the quality of care and patient safety in Greece.

And after

Following these visits, WHO/Europe and its expert partners will assess the capacity and performance of these hospitals, including the availability of general and specialist hospitals and hospital beds.

The governance of hospitals, including their internal structures, referral systems and networks, will be part of this assessment. A report summarizing the results of this study will be delivered to the Greek Ministry of Health to chart a new way forward.