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National Dementia Strategies

In December 2014, the Greek Parliament enacted a law to ensure the implementation of the country's first national dementia strategy. This law, supported by the entire Greek political spectrum, authorises the establishment of an independent strategic public institution: the National Observatory for Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The Observatory will act under the guiding principles of respect, support and promotion of patients’ rights and will fulfill the following objectives:

  • Ensure the implementation and subsequent updates of the National Action Plan.
  • Provide official guidance to the Parliament, the Ministry of Health and other public authorities on legislative and policy measures related to dementia.
  • Coordinate and promote the work of public and nongovernmental agents and associations, in order to ensure efficient services to patients and their caregivers.
  • Provide specific guidance for organising and promoting the national policy in research and education.

The Observatory has an interdisciplinary profile, engaging health professionals, scientists, caregivers and other members with specific expertise. Their five-year mandate will be renewable once, but its operation may not be affected by governmental changes.

The enactment of this law marks the successful efforts of the working group that drafted the  national dementia strategy. The group of eight members met for the first time in November 2013. It was headed by Dr Paraskevi Sakka, President of the Athens Alzheimer’s Association and also included specialised doctors and other health professionals, caregivers, lawyers, health economists and members of the Greek Alzheimer Associations. The group presented the final draft of the strategy to the Ministry of Health in September 2014.

The Greek National Dementia Strategy was discussed during two subsequent sessions and approved by the Standing Committee of Social Affairs of the Greek Parliament on 22 March.

All political parties agreed that “the basic principles, directives and priorities of the Strategy constitute the basis for developing specific regulations on dementia at a national level”.

Professor Magda Tsolaki, President of the Panhellenic Federation of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dr Paraskevi Sakka, Head of the National Observatory for Dementia, participated and gave speeches supporting the implementation of the strategic plan.

Dr Sakka (pictured) said: “The major challenge to implementing the National Dementia Strategy is unquestionably financial. It is crucial that we balance needs, set priorities and focus on targets that can be met currently”.

The implementation of the Strategy has already begun with three basic actions: a national dementia registry is underway at the Greek National Health Service Organisation, a rating system to measure the impact of dementia on families is being developed by the National School of Public Health, and day care centres for people with dementia are scheduled to operate in collaboration with Municipalities throughout the country, by the end of 2016.

All projects are funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework 2014-2020.



Last Updated: Wednesday 27 April 2016