Tonga to receive Ballarat's old hospital gear

Collaborative effort: Director of Mission for St John of God Ballarat Maureen Waddington, Ballarat Health Services’ department of anaesthesia deputy director Dr John Oswald, biomedical and electronics supervisor Shane Simpson and international health project officer for St John of God John Macdonald. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

Collaborative effort: Director of Mission for St John of God Ballarat Maureen Waddington, Ballarat Health Services’ department of anaesthesia deputy director Dr John Oswald, biomedical and electronics supervisor Shane Simpson and international health project officer for St John of God John Macdonald. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

BALLARAT’S two hospitals were doing some heavy lifting on Monday.

St John of God Hospital and the Ballarat Base Hospital have joined forces to donate superseded medical equipment to Tonga’s Vaiola

Hospital.

While St John of God has had a twinning program in place with Vaiola since 1992, it is the first time BHS has officially added its disused goods.

St John of God international projects officer John Macdonald said a 40-foot container holding surgical machinery, monitoring machines, phototherapy lights, mattresses, microscopes and even bicycles for community nurse use would soon be winging its way to the Pacific nation.

A sausage sizzle run by St John of God mission mentoring groups also raised $2000 for psychiatric equipment.

St John of God chief executive officer Michael Krieg said the collaboration would be beneficial to streamline the donation process, previously done in an ad hoc way between the hospitals.

“We will now see good quality, functional, superseded medical equipment being put to good use in Tonga rather than disposing of them cheaply or even going to landfill,” Mr Krieg

said.

BHS chief executive officer Andrew Rowe said the hospital was also pleased to donate superseded equipment and equipment no longer used to help Tonga.

The twinning program includes  exchanges between Tonga and St John of God staff in nursing, environmental, catering and medical personnel areas, with BHS also giving Tongan nurses experience in psychiatry, the emergency department and intensive care.

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