IpA Shield II project
IpA Shield II project is the follow-up of a successful cross-border project entitled “IpA Shield: Joint Actions for the protection and improvement of public health in the Cross- Border Area”, that was approved and implemented under the 3rd Call for Proposals of the IPA CB Programme Greece-The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2007-2013. IpA Shield project implemented within the previous programming period, resulted to the significant improvement of health infrastructures and services for the General Hospital of Kilkis and General Hospital of Gevgelija, contributing also in the improvement of quality of life in the cross-border area. However, the health units of the cross-border area of Greece and Republic of North Macedonia at their major part, still dispose old medical infrasturctures and equipment that continue to limitate their capacity, while their territorial responsibility covers a total population of 126.706 people, being the principal health institutions in the prefecture of Kilkis and the municipalities of Gevgelija and Valandovo – areas characterized by a significant rate of rural population. At the same times the levels of children and elderly populations – two groups with increased demands in good health services – are high.
According to Programme’s SWOT Analysis and the analysis of the current situation, the cross border area’s population is faced with considerable health challenges, especially in remote areas. While the cross border area’s health infrastructures are satisfactory in terms of quantity are not in quality. The increase of poverty in the cross border area now places more pressure on health care systems, setting the improvement of their effectiveness of high priority. The reduction of the public investment in health make the implementation of this project a necessity. The results of join preventive health care programmes showed that a vast majority of children have never visited a doctor having as a consequence health problems that could have prevented like diabetes. Diabetes is the fastest growing health threat while in European level is predicted doubling by 2020 of new cases of Diabetes Type 1 for children younger than 5 years old.
Within this and in their attempt to valorize their previous effective and efficient cooperation, the two hospitals decide the expansion of the partnership in order to maximize the benefits for the local population and cover a wider area of the cross-border area.
The central need which triggered the development of the project was the improvement of the overall effectiveness in covering the primary needs of the cross-border population in terms of infrastructures and services, as well as the prevention of a serious health problem that affects especially children and elderly people.
The scope of the project is to improve the effectiveness of the health care system as whole by improving the existing infrastructures and the preventive health care, in order to be able to provide upgraded health services in the cross-border area. For the time being, many incidents cannot be faced by the existing health units so the common practice is their transportation in bigger and more centralized hospital units. Moreover many cases of diabetes could be avoided. Given that the improvement of preventive health care of children and elderly population in rural areas is one of the main objectives of the program and the fact that improvement of health and medical services can contribute substantially to the upgrading of the quality of life and the reduction of the inequalities in health led to the development of this project.