Dr. Verestóy Attila Foundation

"Giving is the best communication"

Who gives a helping hand?

The Dr Verestóy Attila Foundation within eight years supported financially about 300 patients or ensured the opportunity for treatment abroad. Their co-workers find it vital to have an organization like the Segítő Jobb Foundation that made possible for hundreds of thousands of Hungarians living abroad to get a cure in Hungary.

Perhaps there is no Transylvanian Hungarian who never heard of the Segítő Jobb: one can say without exaggeration that the foundation saved loads of Hungarians’ lives who live abroad. It seems that the Segítő Jobb’s fatewas decided – it says in the Magyar Nemzet/Hungarian Nation newspaper. Their well-organized system collapsed. Treatments stopped for years in Hungary for Hungarians who live in the Zakarpattia Oblast, in Serbia and in other countries.

The local professionals’ task was to find out if they can help the patient in their own country and whether the local conditions are given for the cure. In special cases they asked for an appointment to have an intervention in Hungary.

During their 16-year work they catered about 80 000 patients, they spent 3,8 billion forint on medical procedures and the support for medication and medical equipment sent abroad to health institutions cost more than 7 million forint.

Thanks to them a Romanian-Hungarian medical organization started working. As a result, in 2001 in Timișoara they performed the first child bone marrow transplant. Also they established an eye clinic in Oradea where Hungarian doctors work who come over from Hungary. They perform surgeries that no one does in Romania.

The Segítő Jobb became very popular amongst Hungarians abroad. According to a sociological survey every second person heard of them.

The system worked well during the Medgyessy and the Gyurcsány government untilthe SZDSZ intervened. Since Lajos Molnár is the minister, they have been complaining that there are too many priests leading the Segítő Jobb.

The end of the foundation was while Ágnes Horváth was the minister of SZDSZ. Although in 2007 there was 200 million forint separated for them from the budget, they never received this amount. The foundation could not pay the taxes after their co-workers, therefore in September of 2008 they took action against the Prime Minister Office, as well as against the Health Ministry.

In 2010 with the arrival of the second government, politicians reassured the leaders of the Segítő Jobb that there will be an out-of-court settlement since helping Hungarians abroad is their priority, too.

In the meantime the foundation lost the legal action instituted in 2008, but there was a judgement of the appeal court a few days ago – writes Csaba Lukács in the Hungarian Nation/Magyar Nemzet newspaper.

Since according to the court they did not have a written contract with the government, so their action is lawless. But according to the loser party’s lawyers this is wrong argumentation.

The NGO does not leave it like that. Their lawyers write the appeal and if the court does not do them justice, they are ready to go before the Strasbourg court.

‘Within eight years we supported about 300 patients’ surgeries, treatments and medical check-ups that the Romanian insurer does not do or they were not manageable in Romania’ – said Melinda Nemes. According to the managing director of the Dr Verestóy Foundation the patients in Székely Land prefer treatments and surgical interventions in Hungary due to language barriers.

Melinda Nemes also says that thanks to the advisory board member Dr Csaba Lőrinczi’s contacts many needy were helped and received guidance on how the health system works in Hungary. There is a demand for a foundation like Segítő Jobb which could make their job easier, as well.

‘People suffering from health issues come to us daily who we help as far as possible, but this is not enough. Unfortunately there is no one who could help these patients’therapy. Besides, the surgical interventions are so expensive that knowing the Romanian wagesa Transylvanian Hungarian cannot afford it.’ – says Melinda Nemes.

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