Hungarian oil company offers free medical care in double-decker bus

02-07-2004

As of mid June, a double-decker, brought straight from London, cruise throughout Hungary, stopping in major cities with a specific aim. The buses have been transformed into a medical lab and have a mission to screen children free of charge. So when they get on, they will find doctors and medical experts who are offering ontological and orthopaedic services, and who are happy to provide their parents with advice concerning weight problems as well. The initiator of the project is not a health institute, but the national oil and gas company, MOL. Petra Hajdu of Radio Budapest talked to its spokesperson Bea Lukács.

"Several years ago, MOL decided to offer patronage for institutions and hospitals that help our children live a healthier life. It is very important for us to cure sick children and support those who cure them. Sometimes, you can help with a good idea. It's not always sufficient to provide just the materials, assets, or instruments if this gesture is not accompanied by the feeling of care or responsibility and I think this double-decker is a very good idea. It's a double-decker because the children like it and we would like a lot of children to come and to visit and to want to look at it and to want to climb on it."

Has the programme already begun?

"Yes it already started and really was a great success."

So, what exactly happens on this bus when children climb up?

"Well, it is actually a screening as medical tests are done. There are ontology tests and orthopaedic tests and experts and doctors also give advice to grandmothers and mothers too about the problems of overweight."

Is it all free of charge?

"Yes. Anyone who is interested and wants to do this is free to go into the bus and have it done."

Where else is the bus going to go?

"There will be twenty places. It will travel to eighteen towns in Hungary and twice to Budapest. So it will be all over the country within 2.5 months."

And there's only one bus?

"Yes. If this programme should prove to be a success then maybe we will do it again next year."

But how does this fit into the profile of an oil company?

"We are a big company and big companies should be good corporate citizens not only through our business performance and activities but also through our efficient efforts - paying attention, caretaking, and cherishing the national and international values, and to give support to those in need. For several years now, we have been supporting different institutions and foundations and hospitals dealing with children's health."

When this programme is over, have you got anything similar in nature in store?

"We would like to see what happens with this and if it will be a big success, I don't think that it will be a problem to get a good idea."

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