Health and Social Solidarity Minister Andreas Loverdos on Saturday met with Metropolitan Anthimos of the Thessaloniki diocese to discuss issues linked to promoting organ donation for transplants and cooperation for the support and rehabilitation of drug addicts.
In statements after the meeting, Loverdos stressed that Greece could not be allowed to lag behind in terms of transplants and said an effort was underway to persuade more members of the public to become organ donors, in which the Church could play a significant role.
He pointed out that Greece had one of the lowest transplant rates in Europe or even the Balkans, with just four transplants for every million people.
"We need to match the levels of Spain and Portugal, or at least reach a two-digit number," he said.
Reporting on the progress of a plan to set up methadone clinics in state hospitals, the minister said that Thessaloniki hospitals were joining the scheme "one after the other" and regional hospitals would join by the end of September. He promised that the waiting list to get onto a methadone programme will have been eliminated by the end of October.
The metropolitan noted that good cooperation between the Church and state and the desire to resolve and promote issues of mutual interest.