Her expansion of the cancer screening program of breast “Fofi Gennimata” in women aged 45-74, from 50-69 years old who were until today, announced the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a discussion he had with women in the Maximos Palace, on the occasion of her World Breast Cancer Day.

To date, the “Fofi Gennimata” program addresses 1.3 million women aged 50-69 and provides free digital mammography, free specialist doctor examination and free ultrasound. The Committee of Public Health Experts (PHC) considered the revision of the age limits according to the new European guidelines. and in the next period an sms will also be sent to the new beneficiaries, in the 45 to 74 age group.

“I am glad that you are with us today, to have a discussion about an action to which I attach great importance and I refer to the preventive program for the treatment of breast cancer that we named after the late Fofi Gennimata. It is a program that has already been run in our country with very important results, where more than 300 thousand women have made use of this service, the free MRI mammography that we provide to women, and we have already detected more than 15 thousand cases of breast cancer breast, the most early, therefore with a very good prognosis in terms of their treatment”, Volpointed out Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“I understand the fear of a woman going for an examination, but let women also know that the earlier they find a finding, the better it will be for their prognosis. From here I want to send a very important prevention message that we want to convey”continued the Prime Minister.

“Prevention helped me so much that I caught something very bad. I was only 42 years old at the time, when I felt something while I was taking a bath and I ran straight to do the examination, with a lot of fear at first and even in Agios Savvas which is also a public hospital. I think that this specific program is very important because where you are sitting, you get the notification on your mobile phone to go take the exam. And it is very pleasant that while you have learned to take care of everyone and everything, you see that there is also someone, which is the state, and you are pleasantly surprised by all this, which takes care of you for the first time”noted Eleni Kolofotia, in the context of the discussion that took place at Megaron Maximos.

We have enormous confidence in the National Health System and especially in our major cancer hospitals, which really do a wonderful job and presumably provide the best possible treatment in very difficult cases. I also want to tell you that in Greece we are extremely generous with anticancer drugs and treatments which we provide, giving our patients access to the most expensive and most modern treatments. The difference of this program is that it gives the possibility for a public health provision in which the private sector can also participate”, pointed out the Prime Minister. “That’s why I think that this public-private partnership, provided there is no burden on the patient, the state pays in the end, and it’s under state control and under state care, is a logic that I believe in and can work well” he continued.

“I had a history from my mom and I started from the age of 39 to the age of 40, now I’m 58, so I do my preventive check every year without fail. I believe that the program that has started now in our country is the best because it motivates women. As long as they are not afraid, because most of them are. Some are afraid because it has a little pain, others are ashamed. I think it’s the best help the state could give women right now in order to reduce breast cancer mortality.” said Athanasia Georgiou during the debate, with Kyriakos Mitsotakis noting: “My mother also had breast cancer and I remember then the courage with which she spoke about the disease and faced it, because she had many health problems and she was very familiar with it and she never felt that she herself was a victim of fate, the ones that can someone to say when an illness happens to him. She struggled and got to her feet. And I remember when spoke for the first time about breast cancer, at a time when we did not dare to utter the word cancer, she was “the infinite”. We didn’t talk about the problem at all. And how much strength I think it gave to many women back then to get out of that confinement of fear, get the test done and then obviously seek medical help as well. But it really is a sin to lose lives from preventable diseases.”

She described her own experience Maria Karamaliki: “I have had two surgeries. Unfortunately now my sister has an adventure. The point is that I have the “Doxiadis” program as a gift to myself. It has helped us. I went to Agios Savvas, I immediately found an appointment, I had no problem with the appointment. Now I’m being watched at “Elena”, again I had no problem with appointments. The appointments are direct and that is very important. Because the “Doxiadis” program helps women a lot. And I can say that I am saved. Especially on Agios Savvas I was surprised. And especially in “Elena” there is a whole section about the breast”.

“The most important thing is we women to address womenbecause that’s how confidence is finally built and we can convince more women to do this life-saving examination”, stressed the Deputy Minister of Health for her part Irini Agapidakis.

The problems faced by cancer patients were mentioned by Irini Kassandrinou: “What I have to say is that the doctors of Agios Savvas are working, they are not paid for what they do. I will just say that there are many things missing in public health. The nursing staff is missing, which works too many shifts. I stayed in the two surgeries for 15 days, in the third surgery for 40 days. The same people. Also, what I want to say is that Agios Savvas, because it is a special case, that is, the nursing staff must be inside, they must know the cancer patients. It is also very important that there are no appointments. That is, I did the restoration after three years. Or has no beds to make. I think we should look at these.”

“We recognized this from the first moment and that is why in the annual planning of recruitments that we approved in the Ministry a few days ago, we allocated 6,500 recruitments for health for 2024”, replied Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Greater emphasis will be placed on nursing staff. And of course we also know very well how difficult the conditions are and how we must use all the tools at our disposal to be able to improve the benefits in the National Health System and the increases, some of which we have made to doctors. Special allowances, so that we don’t lose doctors and nurses in the private sector, because something like this is very important.”

“Of course it is very important to be able to see health holistically. Because in this conversation the two aspects are reflected: prevention and first-level care and of course what is done in our hospitals”. added the Prime Minister. “Sometimes I feel that the Ministry of Health in the past was the “Ministry of Disease and Hospital”, not the Ministry of Health. There are a number of programs that are part of “Spyros Doxiadis”, which is the big umbrella of preventive examinations. “Fofi Gennimata” is about the breast”.

THE Mrs. Agapidaki also referred to the further planning of the Ministry of Health concerning prevention: “We will do a cervical cancer prevention program. At the same time, we will try with coordinated actions to increase the vaccination of young girls against the HPV virus. The aim is to have no cases of cervical cancer in our country in ten years”.

“These are things that will show their results several years from now, when we are no longer in this office. And that’s why I think there’s so much value in being able to combine short-term system requirements. We need more nurses. We have to do interventions in emergency departments yesterday. “Metaxa”, which is the other anti-cancer hospital, may not be at the level that Agios Savvas is. How do we upgrade it so that we can have two absolutely equal and equivalent cancer hospitals? These are the interventions that need to be done today.” said Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“But how are we going to educate our children to eat properly, how are we going to deal with it child obesity, which is then associated with an increased likelihood of being obese for the duration of one’s life. This has to do with how we perceive the control we want to have in our lives and how someone will train us to perceive that what we do today will have a positive impact on our health 10, 20 and 30 years from now.” underlined Kyriakos Mitsotakis, making special reference to mental health issues: “Medical science itself guides us and takes us in this direction, of a more holistic approach to our health, which of course includes mental health. Because I understand that one part is dealing with the disease and the second part is the mental reserves one has, the various fluctuations, from fear to despair to anger. “Because it happened to me”. Until the phase where one finds the strength to do what the doctors tell him to regain control of the situation as much as possible and not give up.”

The “Fofi Gennimata” program is part of a wider strategy for the establishment of free preventive examinations, with the aim of early diagnosis of chronic diseases and the reduction of risk factors, without exclusion. These actions, which are included in the “Spyros Doxiadis” program, are an active effort by the state to approach the citizens themselves on health and prevention issues, facing difficulties or fears that discourage them from carrying out preventive checks.