It was an unofficial ‘summit meeting’, but it may bear very official fruit, presenting Greece with the opportunity to become a hub for medical tourism. This prospect was discussed when Bill Papastergiadis met with the Mayor of Maroussi Giorgos Patoulis, who is also chair of two significant Greek institutions: the Athens Medical Association and the Central Union of Greek Municipalities. They were not alone.

Also present was Philip Dalidakis, Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, as well as the vice president of the International Institute of Greek Doctors, Konstantinos Pantos. The meeting was about the upcoming medical tourism convention, in Melbourne on 25 and 26 November 2017 for business operators, academics, medical experts, and tourism professionals. For Greek Australian doctors, this is a unique opportunity for Greece to strengthen its position as a medical tourism destination, something that will be beneficial to both the medical sector and local communities around the country.

“We had a very productive meeting with the Minister and the president of the Greek Community of Melbourne”, said Mr Patoulis.

“Local councils, in collaboration with the scientific community and the Greek diaspora, will work in unity towards a common goal: to activate the country and claim a significant piece of the international medical tourism market. We take initiative, we promote collaboration, we promote the advantages of our country aiming to make Greece one of the top tourist destinations, attracting visitors all year long. It is a national effort which we will continue supporting with all our power.”

From his part, Mr Papastergiadis stated: “Having already built bridges with several Greek institutions and organisations, we are very happy to announce our collaboration with the Athens Medical Associations. Through this convention we aim to further strengthen the friendship and collaboration bonds between our two countries We are going to host this event, promoting the prospect of medical tourism in Greece, which has brilliant scientists, not least among them Dr Pantos, who has already offered his services to many Australians. We also hope to establish stronger bonds between Greek and Australian medical schools, on a postgraduate basis.”