The Ronald McDonald Family Centre has Opened

The first Ronald McDonald Family Centre in Hungary was opened at the Clinical Centre of the University of Debrecen on Wednesday. The facility will provide a relaxed environment for inpatient children and their families. Realised as a 120 million forint project, the Family Centre has been constructed at the previously unused loft of the Department of Pediatrics.

Designed and realised by the Ronald McDonald House Charities with the involvement of healthcare professionals of the clinic, this cosy community space will be available for the patients of the Department of Pediatrics of the Clinical Centre of the University of Debrecen and their families from the end of April. Equipped with a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, a bathroom and a play corner, the HUF 120 million Family Centre will help children and their relatives relax and have some fun over longer treatment periods.

- The Ronald McDonald House Charities has helped families of children with chronic conditions for 28 years. Their facilities include Ronald Houses built adjacent to the hospitals in Budapest and Miskolc, Ronald Rooms set up at the Department of Pediatrics in Pécs, and from now on, the Family Centre in Debrecen, which is the first facility of its kind in Hungary. With this project we wished to offer a cosy and relaxing environment to the families of young patients, were they can spend some time together and hide away from their busy everyday lives between treatments – explained operative head of the Ronald McDonald House Charities László Ablonczy explained at the opening ceremony of the Family Centre on Wednesday.

Healthcare professionals working with children all agree that a supportive environment, the closeness of family members, relaxation and leisure time play a crucial role in healing, and this is exactly what the new community space of the Ronald McDonald House Charities offers at the loft of the Department of Pediatrics.

- For us, it is important to provide an opportunity for sick children to spend this difficult period together with their families. Our colleagues working in patient care have always sought to achieve that our child patients see the clinic as a supporting, friendly environment, instead of a scary place. The Ronald McDonald Family Centre represents a major step forward in this regard, Zoltán Szabó, Head of the Clinical Centre of the University of Debrecen pointed out.

Following years of planning, construction works started in the 170sqm, previously unused loft in the autumn of 2021. In addition to structural and building engineering, interior works and decoration, the elevator was also extended to the loft floor, in order to ensure full accessibility.

- Ever since the very first design ideas, we have supported the joint efforts of the Foundation and the Department, as we support all local projects that aim to develop healthcare services. I am confident that the Ronald McDonald Family Centre will greatly contribute to accelerating the healing of the young patients treated in Debrecen, so that they can return home healthy as soon as possible - added László Papp, mayor of Debrecen.

The design and construction of the Family Centre was funded by donations made by guests of the Hungarian McDonald’s restaurants, the operators of the restaurant chain, various companies, organisations and private individuals. During daytime, colleagues of the Foundation will be at the families’ disposal. The Family Centre will be operated jointly by the Foundation and the Clinical Centre.

In her ceremonial speech, Ágnes Vadnai, chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald McDonald House Charities emphasized that it would be excellent to see facilities like this in more Hungarian hospitals.

Including the new facility in Debrecen, 268 Family Centres operate around the world. In the past 28 years, the Ronald McDonald House Charities provided temporary accommodation to 13,000 families near hospitals for free for the duration of their children’s treatments.

Press Office - CzA