Furry friends benefit from private hospitals’ acts of kindness


Donating equipment and supplies to those in need is not uncommon for the private hospital sector, but some hospitals in Canberra are also extending a helping hand to friends of the four legged variety.

Medical centres and hospitals across the capital are choosing to donate old equipment, surgical supplies and out-of-date medicines to the RSPCA ACT.

Items no longer able to be used on human patients or surplus to requirements, are collected and sent to the ACT shelter in Weston Creek.

Bandages, drapes, kidney dishes and gloves are among the most common items donated by local health providers, while the RSPCA has also received items such as ultrasound machines and medicines nearing their use by dates for humans.

The RSPCA ACT chief executive officer, Tammy Ven Dange, said the medical supplies make a huge difference in the shelter’s ability to care for animals.

“Some of these things might seem like something little, but the fact is these facilities go out of their way for us and it’s really helpful,” Ms Ven Dange said.

“When we receive these donations it reduces a cost that would have to go out the door anyway. We can redirect those costs to other things that we do need.

“What might seem like little things are big things for us and they make a difference to the animals we care for.”

The RSPCA has a long-running association with Barton Private Hospital.

Plastic surgeon Dr Tony Tonks is the driving force behind the relationship, which has developed over the past three years.

Dr Tonks, who was a member of the RSPCA as a child, said some care providers tend to throw away their unused supplies. He said providing items no longer needed by his hospital was sensible.

“[The RSPCA] is a good organisation and we like to support it,” Dr Tonks said.

“We provide them with as a much surgical gear as possible. I do 30 plus cases a week, so items from every case are going to the RSPCA.

“It’s a good utilisation of the resources we’ve got. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Ms Ven Dange said the relationship with Barton Private Hospital was invaluable.

“Tony Tonks and his team have been supporting us for a number of years and it is people like them that make a real difference for the work that we get to do here,” she said.

“We have about 6,000 animals that come through the door every year. Donations from the public give us the ability to reduce those costs, especially donations from Tony Tonks and Barton Private.”

To find out how you can help the RSPCA ACT click here. If you want to learn more about the surgical equipment needed click here.


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