The world famous charity Ronald McDonald House Charities celebrates its 40-year anniversary. The foundation around the world creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Organization can be proud that it has provided help for more than 9 million children in 62 countries. RMHC representative office in Latvia was founded in 2007. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities Latvija (RMHC Latvija) is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children of Latvia.
We believe that when you change a child s life, you change a family s, which can change a community, and ultimately the world.
Even today many Latvian children, especially in rural areas, lack access to primary medical care. In addition to needing regular medical check-ups, there is the risk that diseases and conditions are not being diagnosed and treated early enough, or at all. With both acute and chronic diseases, the effects are often felt for the rest of a person s life. The RMHC Latvija Mobile Health Care Center (Care Mobile) provides free medical services for children in Latvia in partnership with the Children’s University Hospital (BKUS).
We set up this mobile health care center program to make medical services for families with children affordable, and provide regular free primary medical care as well as provide timely appointments with qualified professionals. Cooperation with Children’s University Hospital (BKUS) has been a cornerstone of our activities, as RMHC Latvija provides technical and material resources to BKUS professionals (medical doctors and specialists), who then can carry out their professional work in Latvian regions where it is needed.
“The greatest value is Latvian children, so taking care of their health should be regarded as one of our key national priorities. The mobile health center opens up new possibilities for bringing the University s Clinical Specialists help to children living in the Latvian countryside. Working together with specialists and local doctors, as well as with the support of county governments and the public, we can certainly do more “, emphasizes Prof.., LAS kor. loc. Dace Gardovskis, RSU Paediatric Department Head and BKUS Children s Clinic Manager.
With the initiative of then U.S. Ambassador Catherine Todd Bailey, Latvian leadership began to develop an interest in a group of people who thought a great deal about Latvian children s health and welfare. The working party decided to cooperate with the international charity Ronald McDonald House Charities, which has for several decades had a global impact on the most urgent problems facing today s families with children.
In December of 2007, Ronald McDonald House Charities Latvia (RMHC Latvija) was founded. RMHC Latvija then began a three-year process of project identification, legal registrations, building partnerships, and fundraising in anticipation of the official start to providing medical services. As a result, we are registered charity and have public beneficiary status. On the 10th of May 2010, RMHC Global provided the Care Mobile to RMHC Latvija, and at the end of 2011 the first visits started.
The Care Mobile is a 17 meter long, modern vehicle which is equipped to provide medical services. The Care Mobile program has the advantage of the ability to transform and expand the existing range of services, by offering specialist care, which takes into account the most urgent needs. At present, the Care Mobile team consists of more than 30 doctors – Pediatricians Ophthalmologists, Child Neurologists, Pulmonologists /Allergy specialists, Endocrinologists, Gastroenterologists, Cardiologists, and specialists in the premature babies program. The team is adapting to identified community needs and will continue to expand and change as necessary.
In order to accurately select the places the Care Mobile should visit, we work closely with BKUS, the Ministry of Health and the Latvian Union of Municipalities. In the future we hope to cooperate with the Rural General Practitioners Association as well. These institutions are familiar with the health care landscape and can identify the greatest need for our health care programs.
The number of patients we have treated has grown steadily from 1,713 during the first year of operation to more than 20,000 children in the country from 2011 – 2015.
Do parents have to pay for our services?
For a child under the age of 18 years, exams do not cost a cent. Nor is it necessary to get a referral through a family practitioner. However, we would appreciate if any information on the child s health status would be provided. This would facilitate the work of our specialist diagnostic tests and save time as well. And please, please bring any official document that verifies the child s identity (personal code).
How many children can the Care Mobile support?
The Care Mobile is working exactly as a standard medical clinic that a patient would be accustomed to. It just looks a bit different and moves from one place to another. It is therefore very important to remember that our doctors work by prior arrangement. Ask your family doctor, nurse or social worker if you would like an appointment.
The working day usually starts from 10:00. The length of time needed for a patient visit varies, perhaps from half an hour to more than an hour. For this reason one specialist may take 15 to 23 children in a day. It is important to us that every child receives a full and high-quality medical examination.
About RMHC Global
Since 1974, Ronald McDonald House Charities ® Charitable Foundation (“RMHC”) has created and supported programs that cater to children s health and well-being throughout the world. RMHC has local chapters in 58 countries and regions around the world. RMHC programs can be found in 78% of the world s best children s hospitals:
Helping a sick child fight their illness takes a big enough emotional toll on a family. Adding a financial strain can make it all almost too much to bear. RMHC can help address those problems, whether they involve housing that s near a hospitalized child, the expense of staying together in another city, or even getting basic medical and dental care in a vulnerable community.
For 40 years, RMHC has helped address these needs for more than 7 million families every year, with nearly 144,000 volunteers and staff members, connections with medical communities around the world, partnerships with respected companies and RMHC generous donors.