INTERVIEW we have spent much of this year contracting health insurance companies so that they help cover our work. How did you put your team together to perform this demanding job, what is its structure and professional qualifications? I am quite surprised. It may be thanks to the positive energy of the idea of hospice care and the help to people in the terminal stages of a disease that the multidisciplinary team who work in our hospice are the most amazing people. We started with a nurse and a single car; now there are 30 of us in the core team, 15-20 collaborators (volunteers and part-time job employees), and we share eight cars. There are physicians (specializing in adults or children), nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and we cooperate with two priests, a lawyer, a notary, etc. A great part of the team consists of employees who work in fundraising, collecting funds for the medical team. Ondrášek was the first hospice to win the accreditation to educate employees. How many experts in palliative medicine do you educate annually? Are there many applicants for this job? We received the accreditation, the licence to provide education in Palliative Care from the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic. We have also applied for accreditation in lifelong education in medical care. We have established our own training centre with the aim of developing expert education in home hospice care and palliative medicine with both experts and the lay public. We educate our own employees and provide internships and practice to doctors, medical staff, social workers, and medics in this centre. In 2017, we trained 103 medical workers, 23 social workers, and provided 14 internships for doctors, nurses and social workers. In addition to the Mobile Hospice, you run Stationary Hospice for Children. What are its prospects and capacity? The Stationary Hospice for Children is the dream of help to families with ill children come true. The family can bring their child for the necessary time when the child is looked after by a doctor, nurses and a physiotherapist. The staff provide the medical care and expert treatment (i.e. inhalation, PEG tube care, tracheostomy, etc.) as well as entertain the kids to make them feel better. The Stationary Hospice works from 8am to 4pm, allowing the family to have a rest or go to offices, etc. In 2018, the Regional Government awarded your work with the Lady Business award in the “Non-Profit Organizations” category. What does this success and award mean to you as a human and a manager? I am very happy, however, personally I do not overestimate the award for me; it is an award for all the team. Everybody must understand that we are still not able to pay our team the money we would like to and the sum they deserve. We therefore employ mostly people who consider this job their mission, who are willing to put the issues of hospice care and help to others ahead of themselves. So I am really happy that the idea of
people helping people wins in our case, which is the most important message in the present world, even though it may sound like a cliché. Do companies of our region support your project to show social responsibility? What can an enterprise do to help you? Yes, they do, they support us a lot. Without gifts, grants, endowments, support from businesses, individual donors, the Ostrava City Council, the Government of Moravian-Silesian Region, municipalities, foundations, and others, we would most probably not be able to exist. I cannot give you a full list of our donors, but we are very, very grateful to every single one of them. Gifts from businesses represent 15% of the total finance. However, there are various other means of support we receive from businesses: from the gift of money and raising money to the purchasing of medical aids (e.g. electric adjustable beds). Some participate in projects: contributors may choose from projects and see who receives their money; this method is proving to be extremely popular these days. We’ve organized a few fundraising events, e.g. Daruj papuče (“Put them in their slippers”), the Doma (“Home”) campaign, etc., more of which is presented at www.mhondrasek.cz, as well as on Facebook and other social networks. Our campaign to raise funds to buy us another car was very successful as it provided enough money to buy two vehicles. Even though legislation gave hospice care the code in the Medicare Rate Book since January 1, 2018, the contracts and actual payments are still at the very beginning, and we already know for sure that these payments will not yet be sufficient to cover enough of our operation to enable us to provide our services for free.
“ ... the idea of people helping people wins in our case… ”
What legislative changes does Ondrášek need to work better? As the Medicare Rate Book has listed hospice care since January 1, 2018, which we struggled for a few years over, we nowadays primarily need to improve our contracts with insurance companies to cover the ambulance room of palliative medicine, and a physiotherapist. I have already mentioned that we provide these services for free, and it is our job to raise the funds to cover the costs. Do you have any free time left for relaxation and leisure? What recent phenomena have made you happy? I enjoy playing sports. I love going skiing in Italy. As for what makes me happy, it is each and every item of good news. There is so much negativity coming from the mass media. Yet the principle of humanity is in helping one another, and all acts of kindness deserve more media room. You would undoubtedly be surprised how much good there is in people, and how a single action may start a great snowball of help.
Ondrášek Text: redakce Foto: archiv Mobilní hospic Ondrášek, o.p.s. a Aleš Luzar
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