Press Release - Special Thematic Conference on “Health Tourism: Engine of the National Economy’s Growth & Turning Greece into a top touristic destination all year round" in Ithaca

photo ithaki 1

May 27, 2017

Press Release

Greece is creating an international body of the local government for the Promotion and Development of Health and Medical Tourism in Greece which has been announced at the Special Thematic Conference on “Health Tourism: Engine of the National Economy’s Growth & Turning Greece into a top touristic destination all year round" in Ithaca, on Friday , May 26.


George Patoulis, President of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, President of Athens Medical Association, and Head of the Initiative of Health Tourism in Greece as well as President of the Global Institute of Greek Medical Scientists in Greece and Abroad, which is also created to support Greece’s Health tourism initiative, announced the creation of  the International Health Tourism Center of Greece which "aims to become the Ambassador of Greece's Health and Medical Tourism by the support of  Local Government in a leading role" 

Speaking as the President of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, George Patoulis described in his speech at the conference 's opening ceremony, how the International Health Tourism Center is designed to meet the national need  for an integrated master plan for the development of Health Tourism in the country. The International Health Tourism center will record and map , step by step , on behalf of Greece's Municipalities,  the competitive and comparative advantages of the country on Health and Medical Travel and propose on national level the specific policies needed for the promotion of Greece's national goals in this area .   

George Patoulis emphasized the importance of cooperation of all stakeholders of Public and Private Sector of Greece relevant to Health and Medical Tourism, for the success of the project that will highlight Greece's strong potential in the field of Health Tourism.

The Conference in Ithaca island,  is the fourth stop of the international Awareness campaign which has been launched this year worldwide, starting form the biggest cities of the world where the Greek Diaspora is found, and  concluding this round this time in Ithaca, the thrylic island of Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey

Health Tourism find its Ithaca, many of the speakers said, among them the Minister of Shipping and Island Policy P.Kourouplis, the President of PASOK and Head of the Democratic Compatriacy Fofi Genimata, the Mayor of Ithaca island  D. Stanitsas, the Eminent Metropolitan of Lefkada and many more  

 The conference, which is organized by the Central Union of Municipalites of Greece was  also by Spyros Galiatsatos Deputy Governor of the Ionian Islands, Mayor of Kefallonia Al. Parasis, Emmanouil Konsolas Domenical of ND Tourism, Aphrodite Theoptetto, Member of the Prefecture of Kefalonia & Ithaca, Christina Starakas Vice-Governor of Western Greece, Giorgos Tzillas General Secretary for Tourism Policy and Development, Florian Bodog, Minister of Health of Romania and Nicolae Banicioiu, Former Minister of Health Romania

Concerning the coming steps for the development of Health Tourism and the creation of the International  Health Tourism Center, the President of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece  pointed out that the aim is to record the existing infrastructure and indicate which shortcomings should be addressed locally, so that the benefits of the development of health tourism should be shared not only in the cities that currently have the infrastructure to support the project, but across the country.

"Health tourism will be one of the most important pillars of the Greek economy for the coming decade," he said , reminding that national development should be based on prior  local development for this aim, as the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, KEDE, has repeatedly pointed out . George Patoulis also stressed out  the importance of the contribution of Greek entrepreneurship to this effort so as to enhance Greece's  extroversion and attract new investments in areas with High added value ".

Regarding the International Health Tourism Center, G.P. pointed out that the aims of center include:

  • Helping the development and promotion of  Greece as a credible and attractive destination for health tourism.
  • Encouraging  and supporting  the development of regional and local health tourism destinations in the form of clusters - clusters.
  • Encouraging  and supporting  the development of New Business in order to reach a wider market through the use of Health Tourism and its sub-disciplines.
  • Encouraging  and supporting the Healthcare Providers within Health Tourism and its sub-branches.
  • The provision of supportive services and products.
  • Adoption and application of anonymous electronic records of domestic and foreign patients (ie permanent residents), for the aim of  studying and setting policies to achieve goals through real data.
  • Presentation of official data in international forums, organizations and conferences.
  • Encouraging and supporting the implementation of insurance products and services in all possible sectors of Health Tourism

The Abstracts of the key the speakers’ presentations will be send by a follow up Press Release within the next hours .

For further information or interviews on Health Travel to Greece, please contact

George Patoulis Office ,

Municipality of Amarousion,

Secretariat Tel. 2132038326

Below is the Full Program of the Conference



Friday, May 26th 2017

19:00 Table: Health Tourism & Greek Entrepreneurship

Coordinator: Nikos Philippidis, Journalist for SKAI


Giorgos Patoulis, President of Athens Medical Association, President of Central Union of Municipalities and Communities in Greece, President of Global Greek Doctors’ Institute

«International Health Tourism Center»

Charis Damaskos, Vice President of the Attica Regional Council

«Greece on the World Map of Health Tourism. Strategic directions and motivations»

Athansios Martinos, Ship Owner

«Medical Tourism at the Greek Islands»

Nikolaos Moschos, Business Development Director of Athens Medical Group

«Health Tourism, a development tool for Athens Medical Group for the last 15 years»

Alexandros Prinos, President and CEO of Medi Prinou Group

«Primary Health Care Tourism in Hotel Facilities»

Panos Theodorou, Head of Business Development, Division of Small Business of Eurobank

«Medical Tourism: Searching for Ithaca»

Petros Mamalakis, CEO Health Tourism Greece,

«The Health Tourism Hub»

Nicolae Banicioiu, former Health Minister of Romania

Marc Newson, Interim CEO of Greyhound Racing NSW

Dimitrios Arkouzis, Businessman

Antonis Maniadakis, Managing Director of MINOAN LINES

«The development of medicine in Greece through the sea ways»

At 22:00, the Municipality of Ithaca host a dinner in honor of the delegates at the Mentor Hotel in Vathi.



Saturday, May 27th 2017

12:00 Table: Provision of High-End Health Services in Greece

Coordinator: Dimitris Markos, Journalist


Alexandros Prinos, President of Medi Prinou Group

«Standard Medical Practices in the field of cosmetic medicine and walfare»

Konstantinos Pantos, Director of Assisted Fertilisation Unit, Founder of “ATHENS GENESIS” clinic, Secretary General of Hellenic Society of Reproductive Medicine

Nikolaos S. Kouvelas, Ass. Professor of Dentristy in the University of Athens, President of Athens Dental Tourism Cluster, Founder & President of EURODENTICA

«High quality Dentistry in Medical Tourism»

Konstantinos Kouskoukis, Professor of Dermatology – Legal Scientist,

President of the Greek Academy for Thermal Medicine, Scientific Adviser to the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities in Greece, former Vice-Chancellor of Democritus University – former Secr. Gen. of the Ministry of Education, Research & Religion

«Thermal Medicine & Medispa services»

Giorgos Paxinos, Conjoint Scientia Professor of the School of Medical Sciences, UNSW/ Corresponding member of Athens Academy

 «Dementia: Neuropsychological evaluation and delay schedule»

Dr. med. Vasilis Pavlidelis, ENT, Nose – Ear & Facial Plastic Surgery Specialist, “APHRODITE” Surgical Center

«Facial Plastic Surgery: Health & Beauty»

Pavlos Kapsampelis, Coordinator – Director of Surgery in Zakynthos General Hospital, President of Zakynthos Medical Association

«Public Hospitals in Touristic Areas & Health Tourism»

14:00 Table: Presentation: Global Greek Doctors' Institute

Coordinator: Nikos Angelidis, Journalist ERT


Giorgos Patoulis, President of Athens Medical Association, President of Central Union of Municipalities and Communities in Greece, President of Global Greek Doctors’ Institute

Evgenios Koumantakis, Professor, President of the Hellenic Institution for Reproductive Medicine

« Greece as Tourism Health Centre since ancient history»

Haris Vavouranakis, President of Heraklion Medical Association

«From brain drain... to brain gain…»

Skype Connections

Gerasimos Vlasopoulos, Urologist

«Ethacean Health Scientists in the passage of time»

Dr. Zoe Vlamaki, General & Breast Surgeon, London

15:30 Table: Greece at the center of academic scientific developments. The role of the Diaspora.

Coordinator: Aimilia Stathakou, Reporter for Real News/ Real FM/ NEWS


Giorgos Kreatsas, Professor of Obstetrics – Gynecology

«Hydrotherapy. Prevention of maternity & gynecological problems»

Giorgos Zografos, George K. Zografos MD. PhD., F.A.C.S. Professor of Surgery

Vice Rector of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Chairman - 1st Department of Propaedeutic Surgery Faculty of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Hippokration General Hospital of Athens

«Greek Scientists of the Diaspora in international fora»

Stefanos Geroulanos, Professor of Surgery & History of Medicine, President of the International Hippocratic Institution

«Medical Conferences in Greece: Is there still hope for them to return?»

Ronit Kochman Haimov, Pr. Obstetrics & Gynecology Hadassah Hebrew Jerusalem, «Εthics of Fertility treatments across the Border, the Israeli view»

EleftheriaKrikeli, Director of Α’ Pathologic Clinic of “Mitera” General Hospital

«Sun, Sea and Health. Medical treatments from antiquity to today»

17:00 Table: Health Tourism & Regional Administration

Coordinator: Konstantinos Zach. Koufakis, Publisher ΠΟΛΗ+ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΗ,


Giorgos Patoulis, President of Athens Medical Association, President of Central Union of Municipalities and Communities in Greece, President of Global Greek Doctors’ Institute

«Re-introducing Greece and the Greeks»

Constantine Constantinides, M.D, Ph.D. Director, healthCare cybernetics

«Health Tourism Destination Creation and Management – Greece as the International Exemplar»

Evangelos Kekatos, Deputy Mayor of Health & Welfare Tourism of Kefallonia Municipality

Thomas Roussis, Mayor of Oropos

18:30 Conclusions – End of Activities

Giorgos Patoulis, President of Athens Medical Association, President of Central Union of Municipalities and Communities in Greece, President of Global Greek Doctors’ Institute