Onassis Foundation

Review of Solid Organ Transplantation Services in Greece

Principal investigator: Professor Elias Mossialos
Start date: September 2019
End date: May 2021
Region: Europe
Keywords: organ transplantation, donation, Greece, system reform,engagement 

Organ donation and transplantation is one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine, and has provided a life-line to patients with organ failure world-wide. But the accomplishment of successful transplantation and good long-term outcomes were only a beginning. Building an effective and efficient organ donation and transplantation system that meets the needs of patients and their families has been a challenge for all jurisdictions, and requires much more than advanced clinical knowledge, skills and facilities. A successful system requires many other ingredients such as sustained commitment from government, high levels of public support and trust, considerable investment in infrastructure, carefully designed reimbursement mechanisms and a highly trained and motivated workforce. 

In relation to comparable European countries Greece is lagging far behind in the field of organ donation and transplantation, and little progress has been made over the past decade. Previous efforts to improve the Greek programme, and increase rates of organ donation and transplantation have been hampered by many systemic problems, which have proven resistant to change. There is no doubt that the challenges faced by Greece in building a world-class organ donation and transplantation programme are substantial.  Despite this, with consistent support and ongoing collaborative engagement from all relevant stakeholders, these difficulties can be overcome.  

The Onassis Foundation, which has invested in the development of the new Onassis National Transplantation Centre in Athens, approached LSE Health in late 2019 to perform a review of the current situation in Greece, and propose recommendations for reform.

A research team, led by Professor Elias Mossialos and Professor Vassilios Papalois, and supported by a panel of distinguished international and Greek experts in the field of organ donation and transplantation was convened to undertake this work. The project team will carry out:

  • Development of a conceptual framework outlining the most important components of a successful national donation and transplantation plan.
  • Case studies of five countries with successful donation and transplantation programmes: Croatia, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK).
  • A detailed case study of the current status of the Hellenic organ donation and transplantation programme.
  • A gap analysis of the current status of the Hellenic organ donation and transplantation programme against standards of international best practice.
  • Interviews with international experts.
  • Interviews with key stakeholders in Greece.

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