Narrabri nurses help Filipino hospital

The NSWNA joined forces with Narrabri nurses and the local community to equip a new hospital in the Philippines.

Much-needed hospital equipment has reached the Isabela Hospital in the Philippines, following an outpouring of community support from the small town of Narrabri, in the North Western Slopes of New South Wales.

More than $7000 worth of equipment, including medical furniture, fixtures and fittings from the old Narrabri Hospital, was recently sent to the Philippines by the local district health service.

Staff at the Narrabri Hospital organised the donation of medical equipment through local priest Father Vic Ignacio, along with church members and members of the Narrabri Rotary Club.

Narrabri District Health Service manager, Sharon Simpson, told The Lamp that coordinating the donation was a team effort.

“We moved in to the new hospital on the Tuesday and the following Saturday the Rotary came with a working bee and collected [fixtures and fittings from the old hospital] and took it all to the Narrabri Catholic Church Hall and sorted it there,” Sharon explained. “Some of my staff assisted with the loading of the equipment onto the container,” she added. “Then it was the process of getting it off down to Sydney, then across to the Philippines.”

A ceremony was held at the hospital by the NSWNA Narrabri branch, which donated an additional $1000, as part of its Community Engagement and Support Program, to fund the shipping costs.

NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes commended the joint efforts of the Narrabri community, saying it was “a project worth supporting”.

“On behalf of NSWNA members around the state I congratulate the Narrabri community for undertaking this worthwhile venture. I am sure the equipment will do a lot of good,” Brett said.

The donations were received with open arms and much praise by the Filipino hospital staff. Government health initiatives like Medicare do not exist in the Philippines and the average income is just over AUD$400 a month.

“It was very exciting for them to be receiving equipment,” Sharon told The Lamp.

“They were very grateful to the Nurses’ Association for their donation. It helped to get the equipment on its way, so it wasn’t a cost to the health service over there and it didn’t mean Father Vic being out of pocket either.”

A church service and luncheon was held in Narrabri to thank the health service and other community members for getting involved.

“It was great to be able to help somebody,” Sharon said. “This equipment would’ve just gone to waste really. We didn’t need it, so it was nice to be able to give it to somebody who does.

“We got a nice certificate to say thank you, that we’ve put in our glass display cabinet out the front, and we’re really appreciative that we could do it.”