A uniform effort

By Nathan Evans

MEDICAL teams in the volatile Solomon Islands will now be better equipped, with the donation of near-new staff uniforms thanks to a partnership between Noosa Hospital and local non-profit group Alpha & Omega.

A recent change in ownership from Affinity Healthcare to Ramsay Health Care has meant new uniforms for Noosa Hospital's 400 nurses, doctors and general staff, and rather than binning the old ones, the hospital has teamed up with Alpha & Omega to help those less fortunate.

The boxes of uniforms will be shipped to two hospitals in Honiara and Malayta where they will service many of the medical staff.

Hospital administrator Trish Moffat, who instigated the relationship between the hospital and the charity, said there were sufficient uniforms to kit out two average-sized medical teams.

"It was a fairly major exercise to re-uniform all the staff, and as a result we had 400 uniforms left and it seemed a real shame to just throw them out when we could do something constructive with them," hospital CEO James Thiedeman said.

Taking receipt of the uniforms this week, Stan Reiser, who together with wife Robyn and Margaret and Wes Sanders founded the charity almost two decades ago, said the uniforms would be put to good use.

The charity runs a series of op-shops with sites on Rene Street and at Noosa Christian Outreach Centre, and sends shipments of clothing to the Solomons every six weeks.

It also works with the Salvation Army.

Mr Thiedeman said Noosa Hospital was currently investigating other charitable initiatives.

"We are regularly updating medical equipment and it's very costly, so once we make the decision that it's no longer necessary we look to pass it on," he said.


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