Hospital beds in the carpark at Lismore Base Hospital.
Hospital beds in the carpark at Lismore Base Hospital. Contributed

Rotary steps in and rescues hospital beds

AFTER hearing about hospital beds sitting in a car park, a service club has stepped in and will send them to medical centres in desperate need of equipment.

When Rotary's district convenor for Donations in Kind, Richard Crandon read the Northern Star's article about Lismore Base Hospital's surplus bed situation, he knew the items would be of enormous use to people in need.

For the past quarter century Mr Crandon has been working with Rotary to help Pacific Rim communities, supplying them with medical and educational equipment which has been retired by Australian hospitals and educational facilities.

"When I read your article online regarding the dumping of 41 surplus hospital beds by Lismore Base Hospital, I am now organising the pick-up of these beds and we will send them to Papua New Guinea,” Mr Crandon said.

"I have travelled these Islands in the past 25 years and find the community basics are non existent, especially in the hospitals and schools out there (and) Rotary is their supply source for these items.”

Mr Crandon said Rotary collects such items for Donations in Kind and distributes them to many Pacific communities from Fiji to Cambodia.

He said being able to recycle items such as hospital beds is important as it not only assists people in need but also keeps equipment out of landfill.

"We are so wasteful in this country it's beyond a joke,” he said.

"We receive beautiful letters from people who are so grateful we can assist them.”

However, Mr Crandon said Rotary needed assistance from the state government to continue its vital work.

"For the past 25 years Rotary has been responsible for all the costs and has helped the government by recycling older equipment,” he said.

"Shipping now costs us nearly $6000 a container as we have to buy them because when they reach their destinations the islanders keep them to use as either housing or cyclone shelters.”

Meanwhile Lismore Base Hospital chief executive Wayne Jones said he was thrilled to learn the older beds would be put to good use.

"What a great result, logic has prevailed” he said.

"Firstly for the staff and patients of Lismore as they now have new beds and the work of the clinical staff is safer and the older beds, while still reasonably functional, through Rotary will go to hospitals in places like Lae and Port Morseby in PNG.”

Mr Jones said LBH have learned from the experience.

"It has been an unfortunate situation and it's not a good look to have hospital beds in a car park,” he said.

"In future we will continue to ensure fantastic people and programs like Rotary can avail themselves of these kinds of resources.”

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