A new complex of state-of-the-art surgery space containing three digital operation rooms and a hybrid robotic room ("Hyperion") was inaugurated on Tuesday at the Interbalkan Medical Center of Thessaloniki (IMCT) in a 4-million-euro investment by the Athens Medical Group.
The four new operation rooms comprise state-of-the-art medical equipment, offering artificial intelligence programs, 3D imaging, and high resolution (4K). Every operation room, including the hybrid one, is equipped with systems of digital connectivity and management of information, data, and images, which are very user-friendly, expandable, and adaptable when necessary.
Health Minister Thanos Plevris inaugurated IMCT's new complex. Central Macedonia Region Director Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Athens Medical Group CEO Vassilis Apostolopoulos, and Group Executive Vice-President Christos Apostolopoulos joined him. Also present were Group President George Apostolopoulos and Pylea-Hortiatis Mayor Ignatios Kaitetzidis. Metropolitan Varnavas of Neapolis-Stavroupolis offered the blessing.
Health minister Minister Plevris noted that the inauguration of these modern surgeries at the IMCT was proof that the private sector could invest in the health sector innovatively.
"On our part, as a state, we believe that the National Health System can be helped by private entities, and that is why we have wanted to raise the part relating to reimbursement through EOPYY (the national health services provider), in order to allow many of our fellow-citizens to have access to all new therapies," he said. "At the same time, we are guaranteeing we will also have the best possible infrastructure at the National Health System. But it is very important that the Interbalkan centre in Thessaloniki acquires these four state-of-the-art operation rooms, which will return to society," Plevris added.
The investment in these four operating rooms places Thessaloniki one step ahead in medicine, noted Athens Medical Group's CEO V. Apostolopoulos. He also pointed out that the hybrid room included in the complex is unique in Greece, while the other three operating rooms are all-digital.
Apostolopoulos also mentioned that the construction of a new wing for the Interbalkan Center is progressing according to plan, and it is expected to be inaugurated in the autumn.
This expansion "will soon allow us to significantly increase our capacity and give patients from northern Greece and abroad services comparable to leading hospitals in Europe and America," given the high number of patients from other countries, he noted. The expansion will include a state-of-the-art oncology clinic, he revealed.
On the potential creation of a new university in Thessaloniki by Athens Medical Group, Apostolopoulos said this is a visionary plan which may become a reality if and when conditions allow for it. If so, "it would provide immense added value not only to our Group, but also to national health, to the country as a whole and to the national economy."
Asked by Athens-Macedonian News Agency if the Group planned to buy out private hospitals, Apostolopoulos responded that it was something "that will work on shortly. We are placed in the market, awaiting developments, and will present wherever we believe there is interest."
Currently, the Interbalkan Center features the country's most prominent endoscopic cardiac surgery, noted the Director of the hospital's First Cardiac Surgery Clinic, Antonis Pitsis.
"In less than two years we have performed over 800 operations using endoscopic and robotic technologies," he said, adding that the new operating rooms will raise both the number of patients and the quality of operations.
Director of the hospital's Second Cardiac Surgery Clinic, Vlassis Ninios, said that "some 1,300-1,500 such operations are carried out here each year," and that a large part of these operations, mostly the more demanding ones, will be performed in the new operating rooms.
Director of the First Vascular Surgery Clinic, Nicolaos Melas, noted that the "Hyperion" hybrid operating room contains the robotic vascular angiography image-guided system "Allia Trademark IGS 7" by General Electric Healthcare, as well as medical technology systems that allow innovative intervention and complicated surgeries, at the global level. The hybrid operation room, he said, offers a space to treat all vascular issues throughout the body, as it allows bloodless and open vascular surgeries in the same space, at the same time, for a single patient.