Unique offer by MITERA and LETO Maternity Hospitals: Free Banking of Umbilical Cord Blood
MITERA and LETO Maternity Hospitals announced that the umbilical cord blood of all babies born in the two Maternity Hospitals will be collected, processed and stored completely free of charge. The cord blood cells will either be kept for family use or donated for public use. The processing and storage will be done by Stem-Health Hellas, the cord blood bank of the Hygeia Group. Moreover, the public cord blood units that will be used for transplantation purposes in Greece will be supplied completely free of charge and no charges will be paid either by the patients or their public insurance providers.
The management of the two Maternity Hospitals announced that this unique offer constitutes a radical departure from current market practices and will save a significant amount of money for the parents of the babies born in both MITERA and LETO Maternity Hospitals.
At the Press Conference, which was attended by Government and Academic representatives as well as physicians, Mr. Andreas Vgenopoulos, Vice President of the Hygeia Group, stressed that: “The initiative of the MITERA and LETO Maternity Hospitals to offer free storage of umbilical cord blood for family use as well as the significant effort of Stem-Health Hellas to contribute to the creation of an adequate inventory of transplant units for public use, is consistent with the continuous efforts of HYGEIA Group to provide high quality services with social responsibility”. Mr. A. Vgenopoulos added that: “The HYGEIA Group hospitals will continue to aim at providing high quality medical services taking also into account the real needs and financial constraints of society”.
Mr. Alexios Komninos, Managing Director of MITERA, stressed that “The offer is a unique contribution to Greek society, which is currently undergoing serious financial difficulties. Moreover, this is the first time, on an international level, that Maternity Hospitals offer the banking of stem cells from the umbilical cord blood completely free of charge. We are very proud that the offer of the Maternity Hospilats of HYGEIA Group is becoming a reality, in cooperation with Stem-Health Hellas that is one of the best hybrid cord blood banks in the world”.
The Managing Director of LETO, Mr. Leonidas Papadopoulos, stated that “Parents will be able to choose freely between family or public banking of the cord blood cells relying solely on current scientific evidence, which will be presented to them in a transparent and objective way in order for them to make their own decisions”.
Mr. Papadopoulos added that: “Parents that will choose to donate their babies’ cord blood for public use will contribute to the creation of a significant inventory of cord blood units for public use in Greece”, and stressed that “Our country needs more than 200,000 cord blood units in public banks to cover the needs of 95% of the Greek population”.
Mr. Nikos Nikolaidis, Managing Director of Stem-Health Hellas, announced that “The cord blood bank of Stem-Health Hellas is the first family bank in Europe and the only bank in Greece that obtained the FACT-NetCord accreditation”. Mr. Nikolaidis added that “Only 27 cord blood banks on an international level have obtained this very prestigious accreditation”.
The processing and storage of the cord blood cells is done in the state-of-the-art laboratories of Stem-Health Hellas which are located in HYGEIA Hospital.