One of the main outputs of Project “Reducing access inequalities in primary healthcare for socially significant diseases at CB Area’s deprived communities” with Acronym “EQUAL2HEALTH, implemented under 2nd Call of Cooperation Programme “Interreg V-A Greece-Bulgaria” 2014-2020 is the establishment of a Joint Observatory for Socially Significant Diseases in the Cross Border Area.

The Observatory is located in the premises of Psychiatric Unit of Papanikolaou Hospital in Stauroupoli, Thessaloniki. The Observatory is equipped with a newly purchased equipment for the main socially significant diseases: cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes, psychiatric and neurologic. The Observatory is easily accessible (and target) to social vulnerable groups for medical exams and consultation.

A secondary (Antenna) office will be located In Smolyan in premisis of the Regional Health Insurunsce Fund, mainly for administrative actions (data, indicators, planning etc)

The scope of the Observatory is to act as the “Observatory of socially significant diseases” for the population of the Cross Border Area with specific interest on deprived (areas at-risk of poverty), isolated (mountainous, rural areas with limited access to primary health care units) and marginalized (eg. ex-drug addicts, roma etc) communities which are the communities with highest inequalities in healthcare access.

The Observatory provides the following services and activities:

  • Analysis of current situation of Cross Border Area: relevant strategies, policies, programmes, previous relevant action plans and its results, available statistical data, health indicators. Development and collection of data and health inequalities indicators by age, sex, socio-economic status and geographic dimension;
  • Basic medical examinations for the reference diseases: mainly cardiovascular diseases (including cholesterol), chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, psychiatric diseases/depression and headaches;
  • Raising awareness campaign for preventive medical examination as well as “prevention through healthy lifestyle”;
  • Establishment of an “Open Network” between various stakeholders as: Medical Staff, Local & Regional Authorities, Hospitals and Primary Health Care Units, Regional & National Health Authorities, Civil Society etc. for exchanging: a) know-how on the specific diseases (eg. presentations-trainings from Psychiatric & Cardiology Partners): causes, treatments, prevention etc. b) proposal-ideas between the stakeholders in order to reduce the barriers of equal access to primary health care system for specific deprived and isolated communities.