Cash for a rich teddy bear

  • 2008-08-13
  • From wire reports

BIG SMILE: Sick children have plenty of rich benefactors willing to help them.

TALLINN - The Tallinn Children's Hospital Foundation and Tartu University, which receive support from both donations and the National Health Service, have turned profits of millions of kroons, reports Eesti Ekspress.
Officials insist they deserve the copious donations and are using them responsibly. "Why is there a need for help from fellow citizens when there's state medical insurance?" asks the foundation's homepage rhetorically.
Its answer: "The main treatment expenses are covered by the hospital, but so far there has been no money for necessary expensive medicines and intruments, renovating the hospital and continuously educating the personnel."

The Children's Hospital Support Foundation was founded in 1993 and receives more money every year. In these years it has received more than 40 million kroons (2.56 million euros). Donations in the last year reached 6 million kroons (384,290 euros).
The Children's Hospital did so well last year that 11 million kroons went unspent. Auditors define the leftover money as profit.

Last year 3 millions kroons (192,145 euros) from the fund went towards medical instruments, medication and trainining. Financial report reveals that Childrens Hospital Support Fund has accumulated profit from previous periods of 6.2 million kroons and total assets of 10.7 million. The fund has different securities worth about 3.1 million kroons, mostly in bonds and foundation shares.

Janek Maggi, chairman of the board, explained that the law requires that the fund invest at least 10 percent of its money. "We want to gain as much money as possible all of the time," he said.
Maggi also pointed out the fund's money doesn't go to the hospital automatically. The hospital must write a project proposal for which the fund might provide support. Theoretically it is possible to support projects other than those of the Children's Hospital, but in the end, all of the money goes to the hospital.

Tartu University has also received huge donations in recent years. "Tallinna  Children's Hospital could manage themselves, but when we saw how successfully they can generate the donations … then we copied it, copied that model," said Margus Ulst from Tartu Ulikool's Clinicum. Clinicum earned about 15 times more than the Children's Hospital Foundation: 161 million kroons (10.3 million euros).
"That 161 million is an optical illusion 's it is not a profit in its [actual] meaning! Forty million we got from selling the women's clinic, and now the money goes for building a new house. Money gotten through charity goes to children's treatment and projects we likely could not finance in other ways," said Ulst.
Clinicum received 11.8 million kroons in 2006 and 8.8 million in 2005.

People working for the foundations say both have provided many necessary services for children. "Let's just say the money does not have a name. It doesn't matter how we use the money 's it is all used purposefully," said Ulst.