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Our main priority is the support of Health and the NHS, and in this context comes the upgrading of the oncology unit to an oncology center in the form of a NIID, said the Minister of Health Thanos Pleuris, during the debate yesterday in the Parliament of the bill, “Establishment of a legal entity of private law with the name “Marianna V. Vardinogiannis-ELPIDA Children’s Oncology Center”, modernization of the law on organ donation and transplantation, arrangements for dealing with the pandemic of the coronavirus COVID-19 and the protection of public health and other urgent arrangements” .

“The unit is not being privatized, as the NPID is controlled by the State and financed by it. There is no burden on the patients who will continue to be served free of charge by using more services. The working relationships of the staff currently serving in the unit will not change,” he emphasized the minister.

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He added that with the proposed bill and the recommended independent public body, dedicated exclusively to the treatment of childhood cancer, “the State is attempting, in an impressive way, to strengthen and upgrade the existing today, as a simple unit, Children’s Oncology Unit “Marianna B. Vardinogianni – ELPIDA”.

As the minister mentioned, the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Department and the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit from the Athens General Children’s Hospital “AGIA SOFIA”, the Oncology Department from the Athens General Children’s Hospital “P. & A. Kyriakou”.

In addition, authorization is provided by a joint decision of the co-competent Ministers of Health, Finance, Education and Religious Affairs and Interior to decide on the transfer of the Hematology-Oncology Special Treatments Unit of the 1st Pediatric Clinic of the School of Medicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, which operates today at the General Children’s Hospital of Athens “HAGIA SOFIA”, with the arrangement of every relevant detail.

The goal of the State, emphasized Mr. Pleuris, is early diagnosis, which implies high rates of cure, with the application of modern treatments, the development of special pediatric oncology departments, where children / teenagers with cancer will be supported by specialized medical and nursing staff , not only during treatment, but also in the period of reintegration.

Modernization of the law on organ donation and transplantation

With the second part of the bill, as the minister said, the adaptation to the modern scientific developments of the law of transplants is sought, with which Directive 2010/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 7, 2010 has been incorporated into the Greek legislation. , regarding the quality and safety standards of human organs intended for transplantation and the improvement of Greece’s transplant performance internationally.

Key points of the proposed legislative intervention are:

a) The upgrading of the Living Donor Committee and its organization into two independent departments, so that it can exercise its powers without delay,

b) the provision that, in the context of an attempted transplant, the information is provided by doctors, preferably different from the treating doctors of the prospective recipient or from the Transplant Coordinators, if they have medical status, in order to avoid a conflict of interest between the doctors who provide information to the prospective donor and those who have taken care of the prospective recipient, and the introduction of the obligation to use a single pre-formulated and approved by the EOM “Information – Consent” form to ensure the completeness of the information and the process in general,

c) the establishment of the obligation of the Transplantation Units to monitor the donor at least once a year and for the duration of his life,

d) the introduction of a mild version of presumed consent with the provision of the possibility of removing an organ-transplant, in the event that there is no expressed will of the deceased and no relatives are found, under the observance of security measures that will be specified by decision of the Minister of Health after proposal of the EOM Board of Directors. More generally, the rights of participants in the informed consent phase are strengthened

e) the inclusion of cardiac death, in addition to stroke, along with the possibility of updating the relevant protocols and procedures each time, so that they remain in line with modern scientific developments,

f) the obligation of the attending physician or the Local Transplant Coordinator to inform the EOM, for the purpose of increasing the availability of transplants,

g) the prioritization of organ removal and organ transplant surgeries in relation to other surgeries, excluding those that are urgent,

h) the integration into a Network of all health service providers that have Intensive Care Units or other departments where potential organ donors can be treated (Organ Donation Network), as well as Transplantation Structures (Organ Transplantation Network), with the aim of ensuring the their cooperation,

i) giving more importance to the measurement of the clinical result of the performed transplants and to the on-site control of the Transplant Structures,

j) the institutionalization of evaluation criteria for transplant centers and systems

monitoring and control of compliance with these criteria,

k) the upgrading of the role of the EOM, which is renamed the “Hellenic Transplantation Organization”, in order to be more accurate in the performance of its name in international relations, it is equipped with additional responsibilities, in particular in terms of the licensing, evaluation and control of the Structures Transplants of the Country, and it is foreseen that it will be assisted by special committees to provide scientific assistance on specialized issues and

l) The provision of the creation of a single Information System

Transplantation (PSM) that incorporates all related information

with organ donation, matching and allocation, transplantation and

long-term post-transplant follow-up.

L) the assurance with additional resources that will be determined by KYA for the better operation of the EOM

As the minister said, the draft law is a proposal of a committee with prominent scientists in the field of transplants and lays the foundations for a better, more flexible and efficient transplant framework that will increase transplants while better ensuring patients’ rights.