Life-saving hospital equipment is being sent to some of the world’s poorest countries thanks to a partnership between Australia’s largest private healthcare provider and a small charity club with international goals.
Ramsay Health Care Australia has been working with the Rotary Club of Berrima District since 2010, donating medical equipment and goods no longer needed in its hospitals to disadvantaged nations around the globe.
This year it is giving 70 electrocardiogram (ECG) machines to Rotary’s Medical Aid for Oceania and Worldwide (MAFO) project.
The equipment has come from North Shore Private, Strathfield Private, St George Private, Kareena Private, Westmead Private, Wollongong Private, Port Macquarie Private and Sunshine Coast University Private hospitals.
“ECG machines are an important piece of equipment to monitor heart health and this initiative ensures the responsible and ethical donation of equipment and supplies to other communities around the world,” Ramsay Health Care Australia’s CEO Carmel Monaghan said.
Based in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands, the Berrima members describe themselves as “a smaller club with a very big agenda” within the Rotary International network.
Their MAFO project first delivered hospital beds, consumables and other essential items from Ramsay to hospitals in Fiji a decade ago.
Ramsay has since donated wheelchairs, theatre lights and tables, hospital furniture, anaesthetic machines, ultrasound and x-ray machines, blood pressure monitors and sterilisers.
It also gives $10,000 every year to supplement funds raised by Rotary Berrima to meet overseas transport costs.
“In developing countries, they really do rely on donated equipment like this. They have very poor infrastructure and very limited budgets,” the club’s International Director Barry Barford said.
“We can always rely on Ramsay Health Care to supply equipment that is first class and in good working order, which is so important.”
The ECG machines will be going to Pacific Island nations such as the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, as well as East Timor in South East Asia.
“There’s also a consignment going to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nepal, and we’ve just had a request from a new customer in Afghanistan so it will be great to assist that nation as well because that’s a new area for us,” Mr Barford added.