Thessaloniki’s Interbalkan Medical Center (IMC) will provide care to 25,000 British patients, on the basis of an agreement designed to ease the pressure on the long waiting lists for operations in British hospitals, according to a report by the Press Association. The agreement, signed on Thursday in London between the Athens Medical Center group – IMC’s listed parent company – and Britain’s Operations Abroad Ltd, comes as a result of the British government’s policy to provide alternatives for hospitalization elsewhere in Europe to 100,000 patients. Operations Abroad’s Kenneth Taylor said IMC can treat about 25 percent of this number, particularly for eye and orthopedic ailments. According to Vassilis Apostolopoulos, the group’s vice president, IMC, which has a capacity of 500 beds, is now the most advanced and integrated hospital unit, not just in Greece but in the whole of Europe, and staff are fully fluent in English, having been trained in the USA or Britain. He said the transfer of patients to Thessaloniki would be greatly facilitated by Olympic Airways’ six weekly flights to and from London. Besides IMC, Britain’s Health Ministry has selected university hospitals in France and Germany and intends to sign a general contract for the scheme.