Over 50 000 free medical consultations provided to children in rural regions of Latvija

Promoting children and young people’s access to healthcare services, the Ronald McDonald House Charities Latvija (RMHC Latvija) has been regularly providing free medical consultations to children and young people in Latvia’s rural regions for twelve years already. Last Friday, August 5, the 50 000th consultation was provided in Cesvaine in a ceremonial atmosphere. 

The need for medical specialists providing consultations to children and young people in Latvia’s regions has been growing by the year. Each year, RMHC Latvija program children’s Care mobile travels to remote regions of Latvia to provide free medical consultations to children and adolescents close to their homes. The center provides consultations in cooperation with specialists from the Children’s Clinical University Hospital and other medical institutions. 

“Many children and adolescents who live in rural regions do not have access to qualified medical specialists close to their homes. That means that in order to see a medical specialist, families have to travel long distances to Riga, and many families lack the resources to make such long trips. Care mobile is coming to the state’s aid to solve this problem, bringing the medics closer to the families. We are delighted that since 2010 when we launched the center’s operations, we have been able to increase the number of consultations each year, providing a total of 50 000 consultations to children and adolescents across Latvia,” says Guna Caune, Executive Manager of Ronald McDonald House Charities Latvija. 

“McDonald’s is a longtime partner of RMHC Latvija, and cooperation with the program Care mobile is one of the ways for us to help make the day-to-day lives of Latvia’s families easier and more convenient. By supporting the program, together with colleagues voluntarily participating in the trips to regions, involving our guests and offering the public more and more various opportunities to support the program with donations throughout the year, we all increase the opportunities for children, young people and their parents to receive medical support close to home,” says McDonald’s Marketing Director Baiba Zaķe.

The round figure was marked with a cake provided by the project’s long-standing key sponsors – Linstow together with the Origo shopping center. “Access to healthcare is one the fundamentals of social equality, which is why it is important to support initiatives like the Care mobile. Linstow together with the Origo shopping center has been supporting activities of RMHC Latvija for more than a decade already, because it is important to us, too, to promote access and social equality. It is good news that so many children and young people in the regions have been provided with high-quality healthcare over these years,” says Evija Majevska, Commercial Director at Linstow Baltic and Origo. 

In many regions of Latvia, children’s Care mobile is the only practical solution for providing timely medical consultations to children and young people. The possibility to timely see a specialist is critical for the health of children and young people, as it allows to diagnose various health issues and ensure proper treatment. Ophthalmologists or eye doctors are the most sought-after specialists in Latvia’s regions – they provide an average of nearly 1,500 consultations a year. Demand is also high for allergists/pulmonologists and neurologists who provide over 900 consultations a year. In recent years, the Care mobile’s specialists have also reported growing demand for pediatric micro-speech therapists and dermatologists in Latvia’s regions. 

The operation of children’s Care mobile is enabled thanks to public support and donations. The costs of providing one free specialist consultation to one child exceed 40 euros, which includes travel costs, the physician’s work and the maintenance of the Care mobile. 

Anyone can support medical specialists’ visits to children and young people in the regions by donating money, goods and services for the operation of children’s Care mobile. The donations can be made on the website www.rmhc-latvia.lv or in person at any McDonald’s restaurant in Latvia, or by contacting RMHC Latvija on alternative forms of donations.