Thursday 28 June 2018
Students quizzed one of the most senior health leaders in Greece about the challenges his country’s hospitals and clinics face during a ‘humbling’ trip to the country.
The 19 MSc global healthcare management students spent a week in Athens to see first-hand how a health system operates in a country that faces an array of economic challenges and an influx of refugees.
They will now use the experiences and the lessons learned from the trip as they prepare for their own careers in health leadership in the UK and abroad.
The students questioned the Greek Ministry of Health’s Secretary General Giannis Baskozos about the health reforms that are currently going on in Greece and gave their own thoughts on what could be done to address some of the problems facing the country.
The recent health reforms in Greece aim to reduce inequalities and obstructions to accessing health care for the vulnerable. With the country plunging into financial crisis in 2009, followed by the refugee crisis, which saw hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean into the country from 2015, the Greek government has altered its approach to healthcare. A more centralised system in parts of the country focused on prevention has started to replace the old sporadic treatment centres.
The students also visited a clinic run by Doctors of the World, which provides medical care to refugees and migrants, many of whom have made dangerous crossings into the country by boat.
And they toured sites run by a non-governmental organisation called IASIS, which provides healthcare services, supplies and training to disadvantages regions around the world, to see how migrants are re-settled.
The students also spent two days at the European Conference on Health, Workforce Education and Research in Athens before they returned to the UK.
The people we met who were working at Doctors of the World are heroes and a real inspiration.
The trip has taught me a lot about leadership. What we saw was crisis management. It requires a lot of personal and organisational leadership.
Despite the economic crisis in Greece, from what we saw I felt the government and the people are still trying their best to help refugees from all around the world.
We need to realise that if Greece can do it, we can do it even better. We have more resources and finances to help. We need to be more prepared and ready to help people out.
To me as a future health leader, I learnt that effective communication is crucial to meeting the demands of health care systems around the world.
The trip provided students the opportunity to witness a health system in action and see its different components.
In a country that has major challenges and ongoing crisis, we were able to understand and question the reforms taking place, hopefully helping in a small way.
It was a reminder of the humanitarian efforts good people go to, to help others. It was a very humbling experience.
Coventry was ranked the top UK university for international experiences by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in 2017.
You can also see a video of student testimonials from the trip.
For further press information, please contact Gemma Davies, communications assistant, Coventry University, on 02477659847 or email email@example.com.
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