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Expanding Medical Liaisons between Greece and Australia

altThe Greek Community of Melbourne recently hosted Dr Konstantinos Pantos, world renowned specialist in fertility medicine. He was awarded by Bill Papastergiadis (President) and Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris a commendation for his work in furthering the intellectual and trade exchange between Greece and Australia.

Dr Pantos is no stranger to the Greek diaspora and a strong supporter of the diaspora. As a proud Greek Australian, he commenced his schooling in Melbourne and returned to Greece to graduate in Medicine form the University of Athens. He then returned to Melbourne to study fertility medicine at the Royal Women’s Hospital before returning to Greece to be one of the first in the world to offer blastocyst culture and blastocyst transfer and then help pioneer blastocyst biopsy and preimplantation genetics.

As the founder of one of Europe’s largest provider of fertility services, he has made parenthood a reality to many couples from all around the world. He has established IVF units in different regions of Greece including Volos, Ioannina and Patra. More recently he has established a unit in Romania. He is the founder and scientific director of the world-renowned Genesis Athens Clinic. He is a member of various European Society randomised trials, is extensively published and has been recognised with the inclusion of his pioneering work in the IVF’s history of milestones.

More recently he has also found time to work with the Greek Government in the attempt to not only provide the world with a series of good news stories, but substantially boost Greece’s medical tourism sector.

Working side by side with Dr George Patoulis, Orthopaedic Surgeon, President of the Medical Association of Athens, President of the Greek Medical Tourism Council (ELITOUR) and Mayor of Amaroussion, they have tirelessly worked towards establishing Greek as a medical tourism destination with its specialised doctors and state of the art medical facilities. The success of the strategy was evident in the wealth of Greek specialists, who visited Melbourne for the Health Tourism in Greece Conference hosted by the Greek Community of Melbourne 25-26 November 2017.

Dr Pantos continues to work towards strengthening the ties and networks between Australia and Greece. He has openly shared many of his developments in fertility and has assisted many Australian families in their journey to pregnancy and parenthood. More recently he has also developed an e-learning educational program for medical graduates and scientists, which he is in the process of accrediting with the various health authorities.

altThe night was a celebration of Dr Panto’s achievements. The night was also marked the commencement of two further programs for further medical education in Greece. The president of the Greek Community, Bill Papastergiadis and the president of the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia, Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris supported the development of undergraduate medical electives in Greece, which would see medical students from Australia spending time with renowned Greek specialists in both the public and private domains. Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris also proposed a postgraduate travelling fellowship program, which would see Australia’s leading young medical specialists as well as those from the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada spend a period of time travelling through Greece’s institutions of medical learning, while sharing and discussing their research, thereby facilitating the formation of life-long friendships and networks.

Bill Papastergiadis said “the Greek Community of Melbourne is proud to work with Dr Pantos to strengthen the ties between Greece and Australia. These initiatives are an important part of demonstrating “real relationships” between the two countries. Hopefully this initiative is only the first part of a larger program. Importantly, this initiative works directly against the brain drain that Greece has experienced in recent times. Our programs will strengthen the existing medical programs of our respective Countries”.

Bill Papastergiadis also noted that “over 4,000 Greek doctors have left Greece to work abroad. Developing programs that enhance medical functions within Greece will help stem this exodus. As a result of the recent Greek medico conference organised in Australia by the Greek Community of Melbourne and Dr Patoulis attended by the Premier of Victoria, we have now set in place the foundation for continued interchanges in the medical world”. This is a positive collaboration between Australia and Greece and for which the Greek Community of Melbourne is proud to be a part of.

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