The World Health Organization/Europe and the Greek government on Thursday launched a new sub-office in Athens focusing on quality of care and patient safety.
Acting as a “centre of excellence”, the sub-office will work towards achieving the highest level of well-being, health and health protection in the WHO European Region, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The launch agreement was signed in Athens between WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge and Greek Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias.
Serving as a centre of excellence with the support of the Greek government, the Athens sub-office will work on the following major areas:
- providing country support, including for national strategies and frameworks;
- sharing best practices to scale up successful interventions;
- synthesizing innovations and knowledge in quality of care and patient safety;
- analysing policies focused on quality of care and patient safety; and
- building networks and alliances and improving stakeholder engagement.
According to the WHO, through the hub of expertise, health authorities across the Region will be able to deliver more effective health care with stronger clinical practice, empowered patients and communities, continually improving programmes and methods and, ultimately, higher overall standards of care.
During the launch, Minister Kikilias highlighted that the new Athens office is the first in WHO’s history that will focus on the quality of care and patient safety.
“This way the Greek government acquires an unmediated and institutional cooperation with the WHO, which with its knowledge and experience will offer significant technical assistance for the training, promotion and implementation of reforms in Greece,” he said.
The sub-office based in Athens will bring WHO closer to the citizens of the south-eastern and Mediterranean countries of the Region.
“Greece recently spearheaded important developments in the field of health, notably by banning smoking in public places and having significant experience in reforming health systems, including through the establishment of its National Agency of Quality Assurance. Greece has outstanding health institutions and top-class researchers – all important parts of making this new office a success,” Kluge said.