International Hippocratic

Foundation of Kos.


"We have decided to develop on the island of Kos, with the full support of its people, an active and truly international centre devoted to Medicine and to its practitioners, as well as to the scientific community at large. In practical terms, the first phase of this development will involve the building and the organisation - on our 90 acre plot near the ancient Asclepieion - of:

  • A modern convention centre of 2000-seat capacity.

  • A library devoted to the History and Ethics of Medicine, to form the basis of an institute for advanced studies on social, legal and ethical aspects of medicine.

  • An international museum of medicine, to be developed as a complex of pavilions for each one of the disciplines of medicine, financed, organised and run by the correspon­ding international medical societies.

"The idea of creating such a medical-cultural centre is based on the esteem that the international medical community holds for Hippocrates and for the ancient history of Kos. Our aim is to cultivate further the sensitivity of the world's doctors and to create a strong pole of attraction for conventions, study, or for mere pilgrimage to the place where scientific medicine began.

"Our immediate goal is the construction of the large conven­tion hall, the first such building in Greece. We are in the process of applying for financial support to the Greek State and to banks. Donations from individuals and societies will also be welcome. Once its operation begins - hopefully by 1992 - it will be hosting Greek and international scientific and cultural conventions of the medical community.

"We are now planting the seeds in a practical way. I hope that, in the near future, the interest and involvement of the medical community will be such that the Foundation will acquire a truly international character and dynamism.

The above are excerpts from an interview of Professor CA. Nicolaides, President of the International Hippocratic Foundation of Kos, published in the English language daily "Greece Today", on April 15, 1988.

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The IHFK is a non-profit organization which was founded in 1960, after the initiative of an Athenian urologist/surgeon, the late professor of the University of Athens, Spyridon Economou. The Foundation is governed by a five-member board. Its founding purpose was describ­ed as aiming at the perpetuation of the memory of Hippocrates as the greatest physician of all time and at the revival of the Hip­pocratic Tradition, Ethic and Ideal in medical thought and practice.

In the following years, with the help of the Greek Government, a plot on a beautiful site next to the Asclepieion of Kos was acquired and a small building was completed in 1979. It contains two con­ference rooms of about 150-seat capacity each and small auxiliary a­reas.

In 1985, a new beginning was announced by the Foundation, based on the ambitious - yet realistic - plan outlined in the first page of this publication. The people of Kos espoused fully the ideas of the IHFK administration, recognising the beneficial impact that such development would have for their island and for Greece. In fact, the Town Council of the city of Kos voted to expropriate additional land on behalf of the Foundation and to offer financial support as well.

The International Hippocratic Foundation of Kos The area of the plot today totals about 380 thousand square meters. The entire plot lies on a sloping terrain and its altitudes range between 60 and 135 meters above sea level, offering the visitor some rare views of the surrounding countryside, the ancient Asclepieion, the city of Kos, the sea to the N-E of Kos and even of Asia Minor beyond the sea. It is about 1/2 km east of the ancient Asclepieion and about 3 1/2 kms S-W from the centre of the city of Kos and its north boundary is along the road that connects the city with the Asclepieion.

The highest peak of the hill range, on the side of which the plot stretches, is at 672 meters above sea level. The flora of the hill range consists of pine trees, olianders, various types of low bushes and tens of different kinds of wild flowers that turn the island of Kos and the site of the IHFK plot into a multicoloured fiesta during spring time.

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The International Hippocratic Foundation of Kos The International Hippocratic Foundation of Kos


Kos is one of the major islands that form the Dodecanese complex, extending along the S-E Aegean Sea, between Asia Minor and the island of Crete.

The island of Kos has been blessed with a mild climate, fertile agri­cultural lands and good fishing waters, all of which have made it an important centre of habitation since prehistoric times, as all remnants of various periods of Antiquity found on the island prove.

Kos was well known to ancient Greeks for its wealth and its set­tlements, but its greatest fame was due to Hippocrates who was born there and to its Asklepieion which, for hundreds of years after the death of Hippocrates, was operating on the basis of the Hip­pocratic principles in matters of therapy and training and had become the most famous medical centre of the Hellenic and the Roman Empires.


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Last update: 10-05-2010.