Over 1,000 volunteers in Wroclaw and 120 thousand in Poland and several dozen countries throughout the world will take to the streets on 10 January 2016 during 24. Grand Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. They will be collecting money to aid paediatric and geriatric services.
Paediatric services underfunded
To date, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation has been lending support to paediatric services three times. During 11. and 12. Grand Finale, that is in 2003 and 2004, volunteers were collecting money to provide medical equipment to infant and small children units. Subsequently, after a break spanning over 10 years, the Orchestra returned to paediatric services in their 23. Grand Finale.
As Professor Alicja Chybicka, Chair of the Polish Paediatrics Association, says: "The fact that paediatric services are underfunded on all their reference levels means insufficient or outdated equipment that fails to meet the requirements necessary in the diagnostic and therapeutic process for children.
The bleak outlook on Polish paediatrics is also shared by Professor Teresa Jackowska, Nationwide Consultant in Paediatrics: "344 general paediatrics wards in Poland play a vital role on the first line of paediatric care. These wards admit 412,800 children referred to in an emergency or when their lives are threatened. The first hour in diagnostics and treatment is critical for the future life of the children. The equipment used by paediatric wards to monitor bodily functions far from impeccable, hence the need to improve both treatment conditions and patients' safety. New equipment for monitoring bodily functions and diagnostics would definitely increase the safety of our patients.
Geriatric services need support
The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation launched systematic activities to support geriatric services. Initially, geriatric wards, which are few and far between, saw the complete replacement of basic medical apparatus. The units were provided with beds, mattresses, blood pressure monitors, cardio-monitors, inhalers, aspirators and hundreds other basic medical devices. The foundation also invested in advanced diagnostic apparatus (ultrasound, ECG devices, and densitometers) and modern equipment that definitely improved patient comfort and working conditions for medical staff. In total, over the three years of promoting sustainable medical care for the elderly the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation has collected nearly 46 million PLN for the purpose, lending support to 150 medical units providing geriatric care.
Over the 23 years of its activity, the Foundation has spent nearly 650 million PLN on medical equipment.