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A $750 million attempt to reinvent the hospital

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When the need arises for specialized healthcare, like a complicated brain surgery or pediatric cancer treatment, the only option for most people living in Greece is to go to Athens. Healthcare infrastructure in the country’s smaller cities and rural areas can handle only so much.

A new $750 million effort is underway to reinvent healthcare in Greece by building state-of-the-art hospitals in places other than the capital.

“There is a need in Greece to improve access and quality of care in regions that are underserved,” says Elianna Konialis, who leads the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Health Initiative, which is fully funding the effort.

Greece’s economic collapse in the mid-2000s put its already creaky healthcare system on life support, with many hospitals unable to upgrade systems. The pandemic has heightened those disparities.

Leading the design is Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, known for codesigning the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The foundation expects to cut the ribbons on three brand-new hospitals by 2025. They’ll be located in the cities of Komotini and Thessaloniki in northern Greece and Sparta in the south.


© Fast Company

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