Wargha Enayati, president of Regina Maria Social Polyclincs Foundation tells Business Review about how the social polyclinic project started and what the main reasons were behind this decision.
When did you start the Social Polyclinic project and what was the reason behind it?
I started the Regina Maria Social Polyclinics project five years ago by offering integrated medical services to individuals without incomes, medical insurance and for those with low income from Bucharest. Since the beginning or actually since I know myself, I have been offering free medical examinations. I think that everyone should see what could be the social impact of his or her profession. I did the same in my field of expertise. I have been inspired of course by the Baha’I confession. Regina Maria has always been, and still is, a role model for many of us. Back in 2010, Bucharest City Hall offered us a location free-of-charge for developing the polyclinic. Trust is what made the whole project possible. I think that in building a better world, the medical gesture is a form of loving your neighbours. All of our actions which are done for the good of others are important, not just for those who need them, but for each of us.
What is the concept behind Regina Maria Social Polyclinics?
The Baba Novac Social Polyclinic is a social project dedicated to free of charge integrated medical assistance for individuals without income, medical insurance and often without homes. It is developed in partnership with the General Direction for Social Assistance of Bucharest (DGASMB). We transformed the lives of more than 1,700 patients with the support of 40 volunteer doctors who offered more than 5,000 free medical investigations and examinations. The first polyclinic operates exclusively through both financial and pharmaceutical donations, volunteering, disposables and partially with the support of personnel offered by City Hall.
The Regina Maria Social Polyclinic Foundation opened its second Social Polyclinic in order to offer integrated medical services for low-income individuals and families from Bucharest. It operates under a different concept as individuals with low incomes pay a small amount for the services they benefit from. We have more volunteers who work for free while the donor members involved financially each year with a sum are able to assure the sustainability of the polyclinic. There is also a social-entrepreneurial project being planned that we hope to put into practice at the end of this year: a Persian confectionery and tea room.
How much did you invest in the two social polyclinics in Bucharest so far and what are the medical services they offer now?
For the first polyclinic, the investment was EUR 100,000 and its services have been specialised based on the needs of its patients. Except for general medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology, gynecology and echography/ultrasound are the most used services. The project of the second Social Polyclinic involved a EUR 900,000 investment including the acquisition of the location, the medical equipment and furniture. It took two years to complete from the beginning of the project and it represented a challenge for both the Foundation and all the partners involved. It offers all the medical services that the first polyclinic has in its portfolio and others like medical imaging, panoramic and conventional radiography, echography and mammography.