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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 18 February 2016) . . Page.. 666 ..


Motion (by Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

United Mission Hospital, Tansen, Nepal

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (5.25): Tonight I highlight a worthwhile project that the Rotary Club of Belconnen is involved in and to congratulate some special Canberrans for their efforts. The Rotary Club of Belconnen has been involved with many international initiatives. As with other Rotary clubs around Canberra, and indeed the world over, the work that Rotary does is well known and highly valued.

The project I wish to highlight tonight is the work being done here in Canberra and elsewhere to raise funds for medical equipment for the United Mission Hospital in Tansen, Nepal. Through the efforts of Ms Val Bland and her colleagues from the Rotary Club of Belconnen, to date the hospital in Nepal has received over $50,000 in support from Rotary. It has meant that essential equipment that any hospital in Australia might take for granted has been able to be provided for this very overworked and under-equipped hospital.

But Canberrans are not just raising money. Canberra-based paediatric surgeon Professor David Croaker, along with other international doctors, donates his services at the hospital each year, operating on the children and teaching the doctors.

It was estimated that in 1987 this one hospital of 165 beds—by comparison, Calvary here has something like 250 beds—was serving over 7.5 million people in Nepal. Since then, the population has grown but the hospital still has much the same capacity, although they have built an outpatients department.

As Val told me at a lunch we both attended a few weeks ago, her involvement started with a tap on the shoulder by Surinder from the Indian Affair Restaurant in October 2007 by stating that Rotary could have a dinner at her restaurant in Phillip to raise funds. There have been nine dinners since then. Fundraising has included dinners at the Indian Affair Restaurant in Canberra; donations by many Rotary clubs, the Pink Umbrella Foundation, businesses, organisations and individuals; and sales of Rotary cakes, puddings and shortbread biscuits.

The Rotary Foundation in Australia and the United States has matched funds raised to supply and install 21 centralised piped oxygen points in the paediatric and medical wards and to purchase a colour Doppler ultrasound scanner and a cardiac probe with a cardiac calculation package to enable the hospital to provide echocardiography services.

As the Rotary project manager for this particular project, Val Bland, since 2007, has coordinated the dinners and has collected other donations through the sale of Rotary Christmas cakes, puddings and shortbread biscuits. These funds go towards purchasing more equipment, such as an infant incubator for premature infants and a pathology analyser—equipment that we take for granted in Australia.

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