Pursuing CSR principles is the right thing to do

Society, and particularly health insurers, must guard the efficiency and structuring of the whole health care system, says PR Manager of health insurer Dôvera, Branislav Cehlárik.

The underfinanced health care system belongs among the biggest ails of Slovakia. Many hospitals have been neglected for decades and haven’t received any funding to improve their spaces.

However, health insurer Dôvera does not want to stand aside and watch this neglect continue. It will not hesitate to spend money where needed.

Being a company responsible towards its environment and society is the right thing to do, according to Branislav Cehlárik, Dôvera’s PR Manager. In health care, this means a sustainable, functioning and accessible health care system.

“Society, and health insurers in particular, must guard the efficiency and the structuring of the whole health care system,” Cehlárik said.

Patients should visit modern hospitals

Apart from standard payments for treating its clients, the insurer regularly sends extra financial contributions to facilities given high scores by patients in their hospital rankings to purchase necessary equipment.

Moreover, thanks to an intensive cooperation with the network of hospitals Svet Zdravia, they have supported many projects focused on the modernisation of hospitals.

“Our aim is that all patients coming to hospitals find a modern environment that corresponds with this century,” said Cehlárik.

Through this project, old chairs were replaced in waiting rooms, modern reception desks were added, rehabilitation wards were reconstructed, and above-standard rooms at the most frequent wards and community rooms for long-term hospitalised patients were built.

“We also support the modernisation of hospital communication technologies designed to communicate with patients directly at the respective wards,” Cehlárik said.

Making lives of patients easier

Helping patients is another priority for Dôvera. In one of its longest-running projects, the insurer is collaborating with the association Osmijanko to ensure children staying in hospitals feel more at home.

Together, they have already reconstructed 50 spaces that are now more colourful and brighter. This way, young patients do not have to feel stressed while being hospitalised or awaiting treatment.

Children play an important role in another one of Dôvera’s projects, which involves the biggest charity in Slovakia, Hodina Deťom, organised by the Children of Slovakia Foundation. By being the general partner for the past six years, it has helped the event achieve its main goal: help children reach their dreams by supporting meaningful projects.

Dôvera does not forget about disabled patients, either. Through its Fighters for Health grant programme, which it has been successfully running for three years already, it offers these patients a financial contribution to undergo intervention, therapy, surgeries and rehabilitation. The money can also be spent on purchasing medical aids or medications that are not reimbursed by public insurance.

“The programme has already helped more than 850 applicants from all of Slovakia, who have received more than €1 million in total,” Cehlárik said.

In addition, the insurer has been systematically helping people suffering from diabetes. The Dôvera Helps Diabetics programme is gradually being extended to the rest of Slovakia and involves around 4,000 diabetics right now.

“It is the first comprehensive, above-standard programme for chronically-ill patients in Slovakia,” Cehlárik added.

The insurer also helps disadvantaged clients access treatment that is not reimbursed by health insurance or is only partially covered.

Transparency vital in health care

The diversity of Dôvera’s activities is confirmed by other projects, too. In cooperation with the Slovak Red Cross, it launched the non-profit project My Blood Group, which finds suitable blood donors, offers them advice related to blood donation and encourages people donating blood for the first time.

During the past six years, Dôvera has helped more than 160 organisations implement projects focused on health and the prevention of illnesses. This includes organising camps or courses for disabled people, humanising medical facilities, building and furnishing rooms for therapies, and organising sport activities for both healthy and ill people.

Last but not least, it supports several non-profit, patients’ organisations that focus on health.

“A specific field for us is the transparency in health care, i.e. the access to information and the fight against corruption and money wasting,” Cehlárik said.

Employees participate in volunteering too

Dôvera is trying to behave responsibly at all three levels: economic, environmental and social.

“We fulfil our commitments to all our stakeholders, i.e. clients, employees, partners and society as a whole,” Cehlárik explained.

This means that they try to keep the lowest carbon footprint possible and respect the environment. Dôvera also goes far beyond its duties as a health insurance company.

“We are trying to support both individuals and communities in need,” Cehlárik said. “We are using grant schemes to give as many applicants as possible opportunities while ensuring we are making our decisions in the most transparent way possible.”

The insurer’s employees can often be seen helping at the construction sites in hospitals under reconstruction.

“We also regularly motivate them to attend various financial and non-financial collections to help seniors, children and people in need,” Cehlárik said. “This year, they can use part of their working time on volunteering activities.”

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