A ceremony for the laying of the foundations of the Onassis National Transplant Centre, a donation by the Onassis Foundation, was held on Monday in the presence of President of Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias.
The centre, which is scheduled to start operating in 3.5 years, is expected to change the health landscape in Greece and give a new impetus to transplants in the country, whose rate remains among the lowest in Europe.
The president of Onassis Foundation Antonis Papadimitriou, noted among others: “Today, we start the construction of a new hospital for transplants with access to all, with insurance and without, just as if they were going to any other public hospital. We are also creating a heart inside a heart. A transplant unit only for children. We aim to become one of the first digitised hospitals in the country. We strive for an alliance of altruism on organ donation that will take us forward.”
The cost of the new centre has been estimated at 100 million euros, while an additional 30 million euros will be offered for the medical and technical equipment. The new four-storey building will be 7,000 sq m and have 47 beds, of which 33 will be exclusively for children.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday attended a ceremony for laying the foundations of the Onassis National Transplant Centre, which was held in a hall next to the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre.
Addressing the event, Mitsotakis said that this effort will complement the almost 30-year effort of Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, noting that this has saved thousands of lives.
“Donors are needed, as well as a system and procedure,” underlined Mitsotakis, pointing out that it was especially important to establish a system for transplants “that will vouchsafe for the state a reliable guide for growth.”
“Our opponent in this effort is the very low number of available transplants. The current condition is unacceptable and must be reversed. We will change it. It is my personal pledge. We will proceed with the administrative re-organisation of the National Transplant Organisation,” the prime minister said, adding that the state will take initiatives and that MPs will sign up for the donors’ list.
Referring to the mission of the Onassis Foundation, Mitsotakis said that three trends with deep roots converge in Greek society: Solidarity and a sense of responsibility in civil society, the state’s willingness to cooperate with the private sector and foundations where state structures are not sufficient and a tradition of national benefactors.