Heart patients from the Isle could be treated in the future by a cardiologist who trained in Greece then at one of London’s top hospitals.
Dr Alexandros Kouloumpinis jetted in from Athens to work at Scunthorpe Hospital as a locum consultant initially for 12 months, but he hopes to stay in the area.
The professional came from the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre but is no stranger to the NHS after spending time at London’s Kings College Hospital where he underwent his interventional cardiology fellowship.
He said: “I was very lucky to be able to train and work at the very famous Onassis tertiary hospital as it is a centre of excellence for cardiology. I was there as a senior fellow working as an honorary consultant in interventional cardiology and I completed part of my PhD in research there as well. I have my own private clinic in Athens at one of the biggest private hospitals in Greece.”
Dr Kouloumpinis said he knew aged 17 that he wanted to go into medicine. He said: “I didn’t know anybody else who was a doctor, none of my family were from a medical background, but I knew I wanted to help people.”
He chose cardiology as the heart is a fascinating organ to work with and provides a balance between surgical interventions, as well as medicine. There are many areas for clinicians to specialise in such as heart failure, echocardiography and electrophysiology.
Dr Kouloumpinis always hoped to return to the UK from his home country if the right job came up.
He said: “When I knew a position might be available at Scunthorpe hospital my wife and I visited so we could discover for ourselves what the area had to offer us and our three children. I also wanted to see what the cardiology department was like.
“North Lincolnshire is a lovely place, very beautiful and especially great for families. I also found the hospital to be a very friendly environment. From the very first time I came through the door I was met with nothing but helpful, friendly and professional people who made me feel at home right away.”
He added: “I have found a big difference between the patients in Greece and here in the UK. In Greece the patients come to you and tell you what tests they want, whether clinically they need them or not, so you spend your time arguing with them.
“Here in Scunthorpe the patients have been so nice and welcoming. There is no arguing, as they always appreciate the help and care we provide.”