Belgium’s medical community, in a show of solidarity with Greek patients and doctors, has decided to donate six incubators for very premature babies to Thessaloniki University Hospital. Belgian university doctors delivered the gift, which is given in the framework of the campaign “No to Grexit in health” launched last year.
The campaign was carried out by ULB University Medical School in Brussels, Medecins du Monde, Erasme University Hospital, and Saint-Pierre University Hospital, with the support of many other Belgian hospitals.
“It is clear that with this gesture we do not solve the medical crisis in Greece. But we want to actively help the Greek doctors, who are suffering from a lack of equipment and support,” said ULB Rector Yvon Englert. “Some of these incubators can save the lives of newborns, of future European citizens,” he added, noting that Belgian doctors will continue to press the country’s political authorities to protect the Greek budget for health.
He noted that Belgian hospitals and medical staff started to collect funds after it became known that the health sector in Greece was suffering from significant shortages in staff and equipment due to cuts in public spending. According to the ULB University Medical School, these shortages “pose a serious threat to access, quality and safety of healthcare services.”
The campaign succeeded in collecting 147,000 euros, which in addition to the incubators will be used to finance a project to equip health centres in northern Evia and support the new Medecins du Monde PolyClinic in Piraeus, focused on mental health.