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The first specialised One Day Clinic for cancer patients in Greece, which will be housed in an independent building, is expected to be delivered to the Greek State at the beginning of 2014, according to the Donation Agreement signed today, 30 January 2013, between Mrs Marianna Latsis, Mr Andreas Th. Lykourentzos, Minister of Health and Mr Panagiotis Minogiannis, Director of the General Anti-Cancer / Oncology Hospital of Athens "Aghios Savvas".
The donation will be used to fund the extensive upgrade of the building and the improvement of the equipment of the former 6th IKA Oncology Hospital, with the aim of transforming it into a state-of-the-art, model One Day Clinic, where patients will undergo chemotherapies or surgical procedures and will be discharged on the same day. It is expected that 30,000 patients will be admitted and 3,800 surgical procedures will be performed per year. The donation, which is made in the memory of Nikos Kourkoulos, will amount to nearly 4 million euros. The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation will manage the implementation of the donation on behalf of the donor.
Referring to the purpose of the donation, Mrs Marianna Latsis said that:
“Six years ago today, Nikos Kourkoulos lost his battle with cancer. He faced his disease with great strength and bravery and gave lessons of life and dignity to all of us. Through him, I too experienced the disease, the great anxiety, the courage that alternates with despair and the optimism that alternates with fear, until they become hope for life again. In the memory of Nikos Kourkoulos, and with feelings of solidarity and deep respect for the fight that all those who suffer from this modern-day plague give, I decided to respond positively to the request of the Hospital "Aghios Savvas" regarding the funding of the project to transform the former IKA Oncology Hospital into a model One Day Clinic.”
From left to right, Mr Andreas Lykourentzos, Minister of Health, Mrs Marianna Latsis and Mr Panagiotis Minogiannis, Director of the "Aghios Savvas" Hospital.
During the ceremony for the signing of the Donation Agreement, Mr Andreas Lykourentzos, Minister of Health, stressed that:
“As Minister of Health, I would like to express the gratitude of the State for your very important donation. Moreover, I would like to note that the funding for this project comes from your personal assets and not from the assets of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. Today, 30 January, which is the day on which your late husband passed away, your donation is dedicated to his memory and put to the benefit of other people. As an act of honour and respect to the memory of your late husband, the Ministry of Health has decided to name the Oncology One Day Clinic ‘Nikos Kourkoulos’.”
Mr Panagiotis Minogiannis, Director of the General Anti-Cancer/Oncology Hospital of Athens "Aghios Savvas, stated that:
“Today’s agreement regarding the creation of the "Nikos Kourkoulos" One Day Clinic, the first One Day Clinic for oncology patients in our country, is a landmark with respect to the history of the General Anti-Cancer/Oncology Hospital of Athens "Aghios Savvas" and the modern treatment of cancer in Greece. The least I can do is say a special thank you to Mrs Latsis and her associates for their warm response to our request and for their cooperation. We all feel the responsibility to overcome our weaknesses and work harder and in concert, in order to complete this important project as soon as possible.”
THE IDENTITY OF THE ONE DAY CLINIC “NIKOS KOURKOULOS"
The One Day Clinic will be housed in a building with a surface area of 3,650 m2, which is located at 4 Asopiou and Paraschou Streets (close to Alexandras Avenue) and has 6 floors, a ground floor and 3 basements. The building will be rebuilt and equipped, based on specifications that meet the operational requirements of a state-of-the-art One Day Clinic, with the aim of providing decent hospitalisation conditions for patients and optimising the effectiveness of the medical and nursing staff. The Clinic will have 3 operating rooms and a capacity of 45 beds –26 beds for the oncology patients of the Medical Oncology Sector, who need to undergo chemotherapy, and 19 beds for the patients of the Surgical Oncology Sector.
The "Nikos Kourkoulos" One Day Clinic will be part, for administrative purposes, of the General Anti-Cancer/Oncology Hospital of Athens "Aghios Savvas" and will house the following Divisions: Short-Term Hospitalisation – Surgical Oncology Sector, Short-Term Hospitalisation – Medical Oncology Sector, Percutaneous Breast Biopsy Unit and part of the Radiotherapy Division. Moreover, all necessary divisions for the preoperative assessment of patients of the Surgical Oncology Sector and the evaluation of patients of the Medical Oncology Sector will operate at the Clinic. Specifically, the Clinic will perform Diagnostic Radiology and Biopathology tests. The Clinic will also provide support services to oncology patients, offering them guidance on prevention measures and other advice.
Based on international experience, the operation of one day clinics significantly reduces the expenses of hospitals, insurance funds and the State, and it is one of the most effective practices for the optimisation of expenses and the proper use of material and human resources in the health sector. By offering citizens a human environment, which is very well organised and equipped in order to provide high quality health services, "the Nikos Kourkoulos" One Day Clinic can become a model for the development of similar initiatives, which will improve the quality of healthcare, while reducing its cost. At the same time, it will help improve the operation of the Agios Savvas Hospital and will contribute to its decongestion, since operating rooms will be freed up, thus making it possible to perform other surgical procedures and reducing the waiting time for inpatients.