Even today many Latvian children, especially in rural areas, lack access to primary medical care. We set up a mobile health care center program which aims 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. Ronald McDonald House Charities Latvia is an organization whose primary mission is the of health and well-being of Latvia’s children.
Over five years ago, 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. At that time in particular, but also now, many Latvian children in rural areas have problems with accessing 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 working party therefore 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. On the 26th of May 2010, RMHC Global provided the Care Mobile to RMHC Latvija.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Latvia is an organization whose primary mission is the health and well-being of Latvia’s children, so it was clear from the outset that our initiative should cooperate with the Children’s Clinical University Hospital (BKUS).
The University Children’s Hospital (BKUS) co-operation with the Care Mobile directly impacts Latvian children’s health care . This cooperation is a cornerstone of the organization, 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.
At present, the Care Mobile team consists of 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.
Our role is to support the activities of the medical professionals concerned who offer to work in this program, as well as the doctors in the counties that receive us. Latvian doctors urge county and local governments to cooperate!
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 program of the mobile health care center is tailored to the needs of the children in each county, providing appropriate specialist medical services. I believe that all authorities will be encouraged to cooperate with the program’s authors, because the service is free of charge, there is no extra paperwork, and technicians see children even without referrals, “says Dr. Vadim Krimans, family doctor and SIA Līvānu Hospital Chairman of the Board.
We invite local experts and authorities to cooperate! Local doctors are the ones who know their patients the best and are the ones who can identify the more complex cases of children who need more thorough and specific examinations. Care Mobile specialists look at these children, providing a new diagnosis or an extension of the existing diagnosis, written recommendations, and where appropriate, transfer to BKUS. The local doctor is the one who stays with the patient throughout the recovery process. That is why it is so important for us to cooperate with county medical officers. Cooperation can provide the full circle in a child health care. We help doctors to further the good work they are already doing all the time.
Endocrinologists, Gastroenterologists, Pulmonologists
Dr. Eglīte, Dr. Dzīvīte, Dr. Grantiņa
Dr. Kaže, Dr. Kirilova, Dr. Aleksejeva
Dr. Marksa, Dr. Lauga, Dr. Poga
Dr. Kovaldins, Dr. Lubaua
Dr. Lindenberga, Dr. Kazaine
Dr. S. Valeiņa , Dr. Epnere, Dr. Treija, Dr. I. Valeiņa, Dr.Zariņa, Dr. Aizkalne, Dr. Danilāne , Dr. Tīse
RMHC Latvija is a registered charity. And as with the most charities we depend on donations.
Everywhere and all the time we emphasize that we are providing costly medical services for children, free of charge. People can have a dilemma as to why they should deal with a charity,why not go do something in return for their absence. But our team is so straightforward, do something for another person and get pleasure from it. Charity is about doing some good! As of today, our Care Mobile program has invested more than 500,000 Euros in healthcare for Latvian children.
- More than EUR 150,000 was spent directly in Latvia: EUR 26.000 was spent building a trailer chassis “Mono Transserviss”
- EUR 48.000 spent on eye disease diagnostic facilities “Industrial Technologies”
- EUR 80.000 driver’s cab, acquisition, Volvo Latvia
- Ls 9000 medical equipment, allergy testing and IT equipment were purchased thanks to the International Rotary Club in support of Riga.
400,000 euros were donated to by RMHC Global in the form of the Care Mobile itself.
The Care Mobile program operates through the generosity of our donors:
Our major supporters include Linstow, Johnson & Johnson, Premier Restaurant, KPMG, Microsoft, Diatom Enterprises, Klavins & Slaidiņš, Meditec, International Rotary Club of Riga, Hotel Bergs, RB Management, Volvo Truck Latvia, General Electric, Olympic Casinos, private donations from donation boxes and many others.
On average, to provide full Care Mobile program activities 150 000 Ls are needed each year.
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 10 to 15 children in a day. It is important to us that every child receives a full and high-quality medical examination.