Greece with a population of over 11.3 million is a member of the EU since 1981. Greece has a state funded public health system with 138 hospitals spread in 7 counties, 7 Medical Schools with 11 University Hospitals. The Greek public health system is currently under total restructuring. Greece also has a vibrant private health care system with tertiary centers, diagnostic facilities and 172 private clinics.

Population: 11.3 million
ESCP members: 45
National Representative: Ioannis Papaconstantinou, Associate Professor of Surgery, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, 2nd Department of Surgery, Aretaieion Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Coloproctology as a Discipline in Greece

Achievements

At the beginning of this year , election of new Council were held ,  the articles of association  were revised  , committees were created , affiliations with other Societies of similar scientific interest ( IBD club, Gastroenterology etc) were made, our new website is under reconstruction  and a great effort was made to upgrade the National Society and operate to ESCP standards.

The members of the Society are colorectal surgeons and physicians of related specialties, who are dedicated to the above mentioned diseases.

 For twenty years now, the "Hellenic Society of Coloproctology" has successfully organized twenty (20) scientific events and ten (10) postgraduate courses in Greece. Amongst them: seven (7) Panhellenic Congresses, thirteen (13) Symposiums in Coloproctology, as well as ten (10) Hands-On Postgraduate Courses (suturing techniques, the use of modern energy devices in colorectal surgery, laparoscopic and robotic hands-on courses). The last three postgraduate courses were International Advanced Courses with hands-on training on Fresh Frozen Cadavers.

   in  the past years the Hellenic Surgical Society and other collaborating societies focused on education by supporting different hands-on seminars. As a result most standardized educational seminars are offered in Greece such as Basic Surgical Skills, Basic and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery, Surgical Anatomy. A parallel effort to internationalize Greek scientific literature is underway with supporting bilingual or English speaking scientific journals published by the Greek medical societies.

Very recently a huge effort which was organised by the National Society of Medical Oncologists came to a fruitful end and Greece now has the first National Guidelines for the management of Colorectal Cancer divided in four parts which were published in Annals of Gastroenterology:

  1. National Guidelines for the management of Colon Cancer
  2. National Guidelines for the management of Rectal Cancer
  3. National Guidelines for the Postoperative Chemotherapy in Colon Cancer
  4. National Guidelines for the management of Metastatic Disease

All sets of Guidelines obtained the highest level of consensus from experts from all over the world through the "DELPHI" methodology.

We are at present in the process to update the National guidelines for the management of rectal cancer.

Training Opportunities

  • Postgraduate training in Coloproctology (annual started 2017) (organizer: University of Thessaly, Medical School )
  • Postgraduate training in pelvic floor disorders (annual started 2018) (organizer: University of Thessaly, Medical School)
  • International Symposia – Colorectal Games (every 2 years from 2005) (organiser: CRC-SG).
  • Postgraduate Seminars of GIC-SG: Reading the Traces of Gastro-Intestinal Cancers (annual event, from 2013) (organiser: CRC-SG)
  • Masterclass in Gastrointestinal Cancer ( annual meeting for medical personnel involved in the MDT for CRC) (organiser: CRC-SG)
  • Colorectal Laparoscopic Surgical Skills ( 4 courses through out each year)(organizer: Ygeia Hospital)

Registry

Research in Colo-Proctology (under the auspices of CRC-SG):

  • Registry of Colo-Rectal Cancer (12 centres involved on a pilot basis – 2014 onwards)
  • RAS family in metastatic Colo-Rectal Cancer
  • NEARCHO Trial: (Safety Study on Neo-Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Advanced Rectal Cancer)
  • MECCLAND -C, and -R Trials: Prospective comparative multi-centre trials on various bowel preparation regimes for elective colorectal surgery.

Future Plans

Greece has the priority of rationalizing the cost of the National Health System without compromising its social benefiting status. There is a great effort underway to salvage public funding of postgraduate training and also to advance the private sector’s involvement in specialized training , promotion of colorectal surgery and the promotion of medical science and research in the field of colon and rectal diseases.

The main goals of Hellenic Society of Coloproctology are :

  • the establishment of a National Registry for colorectal diseases ( malignant, benign and hereditary ) in cooperation with other related Greek or European Societies.
  • the  Organization of  a National  Colorectal training program ( fellowship) according to ERCP standards
  • to regularly update the National guidelines  for the treatment of benign and malignant colorectal diseases .
  • the organization of National collaborative trials
  • to encourage Greek colorectal surgeons to participate to  research collaborative  trials and other ESCP activities

The National Institute for Neoplasias is on its way to be realized.

ESCP Affiliates