THI Australia funds health program with Doctors of the World Greece

May 28, 2020

The Hellenic Initiative Australia (THI Australia) has announced a new collaboration with Doctors of the World Greece (MdM Greece) which will provide access to public health services for more than 2,800 disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Athens.

The €54,000 grant to MdM Greece will support a 12-month program which begins next week at the Athens Polyclinic, run by MdM Greece.

“With the world dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, THI Australia’s collaboration with MdM Greece comes at a critical time to ensure the most vulnerable in society have access to medical assessments and treatments,” said THI Australia President Nicholas Pappas AM.

This is the first health program to be funded by Perth-based benefactor Dr Constantine Berbatis and his family, who pledged $500,000 to THI Australia in 2019, over five years, in support of public health initiatives in Greece.

Mr Pappas applauded Dr Berbatis for the leadership he had shown through his generous gift, which will support improved health services for people in need.

The grant will provide more than 2,800 people with access to primary health care at the Athens Open Polyclinic. It is anticipated that more than 5,500 consultations, 1,700 medical assessments and 1,700 medical follow-ups will be conducted during the project, which commences on 1 June 2020.

“The recent economic crisis in Greece has left a large number of people facing poverty and unable to access basic health care, which is one of the reasons why my family and I wanted to contribute to the improvement of the general health status and disease prevention for vulnerable communities in Greece,” said Dr Berbatis.

“We look forward to sharing stories about the people who have benefitted from the access to health care offered as a result of this project,” he said.

Doctors of the World Greece offers a range of successful health services, including the operation of three Open Polyclinics in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, two accommodation centres for the homeless and women at risk, a centre of empowerment for children and adolescents at risk, and social and medical services on remote islands.

“We welcome MdM Greece, with more than 30 years of continuous action in Greece, as the latest organisation to join THI Australia’s outstanding partner NGOs in Greece,” Mr Pappas said.

MdM Greece President, Dr Charikleia Tziouvara thanked Dr Berbatis and THI Australia for providing them with this opportunity to provide more people with health services.

“We are very enthusiastic to be working alongside THI Australia in the effort to reduce the health care inequalities in Greece,” she said. 

THI Australia now supports eight established NGOs in Greece – MdM Greece joins Axion Hellas, Pediatric Trauma Care, Boroume, Desmos, Emfasis, SOS Children’s Villages Greece and Tipping Point.