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METAdrasi helps to upgrade hospitals with wifi installation for the provision of tele-interpretation

METAdrasi makes good use of the money received with the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize 2019, in order to install wifi network for the provision of teleconference in the hospitals that are under high pressure, due to the increased migration flows.

General Hospital of Thessaloniki “G. Gennimatas”, is the first hospital where installation work will take place. Former Vice-President of the BoD and Deputy Director of the hospital, Mr. Konstantinos Davrados immediately accepted METAdrasi’s donation, acknowledging the magnitude of this technology in the improvement of health services provision. Installation work begins on the 1st of February and will be completed by the beginning of March.

METAdrasi, since its establishment, strives to cover substantial needs for the improvement of migration management, implementing innovative activities such as the provision of quality interpretation throughout reception and asylum procedures but, also, in other fields where communication is essential. Especially in the field of health services, the need for quality interpretation is imperative and for this reason, METAdrasi, kept responding to hospitals urgent calls in a voluntary basis using its own resources. Since 2015, with the support of UNHCR, the daily presence of interprets was ensured in the hospitals on the islands that are the main entry points. Since 2017, funded by the European Union and in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration, METAdrasi supports specific hospitals in the mainland with permanent interpreters’ teams.

METAdrasi’s interpretation via teleconference is an innovative solution through which a significant amount of resources is being saved. However, the absence of wifi access in most of the hospitals in Greece, makes the provision of tele-interpretation impossible. METAdrasi’s long-term efforts to secure the necessary resources for wifi installation at the hospitals through fundraising were declined, as this kind of services are considered to be the state’s obligation. So far, the results of our cooperation with the few hospitals that are equipped with wifi and to which we provide teleconference interpretation in emergencies, have been very encouraging.

In 2020, similar wifi infrastructures will be installed in “Panagiotis & Aglaia Kiriakou” Children’s Hospital in Athens, and in “Agia Sofia” Children’s Hospital and, afterwards, to the hospitals of the overcrowded entry points in the islands, with which METAdrasi’s team collaborates over the past six years, supporting their medical and nursing staff.

“We are very happy that the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize which was awarded to us in October 2019, apart from the international recognition, gave us the financial means to finally fulfill our vision and, following the European standards, provide teleconference services in hospitals, supporting the work of their medical and nursing staff”, stated METAdrasi’s President, Lora Pappa.

METAdrasi, having a 10 year experience in interpretation, has established a team of 350 interprets in 43 different languages and dialects. Indicatively, since 2018, more than 72,000 patients have benefited from METAdrasi’s interpretation services in hospitals and health providers –

For more information, you may contact METAdrasi at +30 214 100 8700 or at the e-mail address info@metadrasi.org 


Bellow you may read two of the numerous stories, that showcase the vital role of teleconference in the communication between doctors and patients:

“When I woke up, I knew that something bad had happened but I couldn’t handle it, I broke down. I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to understand. I didn’t want to be alone in this”, says Amina from Iran. The attending doctor stated: “Amina* came to the hospital with a heavy trauma caused by a train accident and had to be operated on immediately. It was late at night and there was no relative. We were the on-call hospital, it was crowded. We had to amputate his leg… The next day he woke up. As soon as he realized  his condition he started crying and shouting. We didn’t know how to speak his language and we couldn’t even take his medical record, nor explain to him what had happen or comfort him. We needed someone who would speak his language and who would explain to him in detail and accurately what we said, because he could get infected without the proper treatment. Teleconference was the only solution. The interpreter was not a faceless voice coming from a device. It was a deus ex machina who gave hope to the patient and voice to the doctor.”

27-year-old Yara* from Syria needed to be hospitalized in the oncology clinic of “Papageorgiou” General Hospital of Thessaloniki. The patient had undergone precancerous tests and was diagnosed with multiple tumors in more than one organ. “We couldn’t have achieved anything without an interpreter. It was of the utmost importance for her to fully understand her condition and the treatment she should follow”. The doctor, with the help of teleconference, explained to the patient that her situation was extremely serious and that she should follow a series of treatment. “The only thing she wanted was to see her four children, but we couldn’t allow it in this stage. She had to start the treatment immediately. We promised her that we would try to find her children and bring them for a  visit. The interpreter calmed her down. And when we needed him, we called him again and he was present in every process. Present through the screen. So close and yet so far, at the same time”. Today, Yara keeps visiting the clinic for regular checks. Her condition is reversible.

Time can be an absolute ally for a doctor who will intervene on time, but may become his biggest enemy when the language barrier forbits the full medical record retrieval. Communication between the patient and the doctor is of vital importance, in order to get the correct diagnosis and administer the appropriate treatment.

*Names have been changed in order to ensure the protection of personal data.