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Canberra Hospital taking charity bar fridges?

By johnboy - 5 August 2010 29

Katy Gallagher is thanking the very generous Samuels family who have donated five bar fridges to the oncology ward in memory of their mother.

“This is a very kind gift from a family who has recently lost their mother,” Ms Gallagher said.

“This donation means that each patient and their family will have access to their own fridge during their stay in the ward,” she said.

“During this time when the family visited their mother, they took food and drinks with them, which made it easier for them and allowed the family more time to spend with their mother,” Ms Gallagher said.

“The family members noticed that as Hazel moved to different rooms, that some had fridges, whilst other rooms didn’t and they decided that they would donate some fridges as a ‘thank you’ gift, to be put into the rooms that did not have a fridge,” the Minister said.

Without in any way wishing to denigrate the generosity of the Samuels family Ms Gallagher:

YOU’RE RUNNING A BILLION DOLLAR HEALTH SYSTEM AND YOU CAN’T SPRING FOR FIVE BAR FRIDGES???

ffs

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Canberra Hospital taking charity bar fridges?
Mothy 3:56 pm 05 Aug 10

I-filed said :

In fact, the hospital should try to identify gifts of under $1,000 that patients and families and individuals can make.

On that front, and in more of an easing the pain/comfort vein, I’d like to see some Aust. Hospitals put their hands up to participate in, or do something like the Child’s Play Charity. I guess the Starlight Foundation is as close as we’ll get.

Was appalled on spending some time recently visiting family in Westmead Children’s Hospital, and hearing from the nurses that the Starlight Fun Centres on the ward (i.e. portable computer games consoles/dvd players/computers) had had games for them at one point, but they were stolen. That and the mouse/trackball ball had gone missing – much debate around on what we could improvise with was entered into.

Thumper 3:31 pm 05 Aug 10

Constant truth of politics – the voting public will want you to do more (i.e. programs) while collecting less (i.e. taxes/debt).

And yet the ACT government still manages to collect more and more, not less and less. In fact so much that they can even afford to buy expensive lumps of rusty metal to sit in arboretums?

Yes, the bar fridge may be a luxury item, but a few thousand dollars in a billion dollar budget is like me having a piss in lake Burley Griffin and thinking it will make a difference to the water quality.

pptvb 2:01 pm 05 Aug 10

I-filed said :

Nice work. It’s great that this family thought of doing something they could afford, with a tangible benefit that isn’t swallowed up in consolidated revenue, or one-thousandth of a high-tech machine. In fact, the hospital should try to identify gifts of under $1,000 that patients and families and individuals can make. Bravo Samuels family!

Spot on.

Mothy 1:55 pm 05 Aug 10

Which is more important – a bar fridge for five patients, or one weeks wage for a nurse?

While we’d all like to believe that the govt could see their way to funding both, the reality is there are finite resources available – both to the govt for all its programs, and from there, to the hospitals.

Constant truth of politics – the voting public will want you to do more (i.e. programs) while collecting less (i.e. taxes/debt).

Mathman – the same can be said of much of the fundraising for hospitals anywhere I guess, not just in country towns. A fundraiser for the hospital will often go to the purchase of standard equipment – i.e. Bandaged Bear Day at the Children’s hospital at Westmead.

Then there’s the example of Canberra Hospitals Newborn Intensive Care Foundation. I recall an interview on the radio that I heard where they asked Katy Gallagher why the govt couldn’t fund something like that themselves (sorry, can’t recall when so can’t give a link/citation). The response was interesting – in short, the hospital had decided to fund-raise for that item because they viewed that they could do so through community support. Yes yes, wonderful dodge of the question, but also a valid demonstration of the above point – the hospital is doing what it can with the resources it has. That kind of fundraiser is an easier sell than a blanket “donate to the hospital”, because it is an identifiable/tangible item, and thus probably likely to raise more funds. But it does mean that it doesn’t need funds allocated to it from the hospital budget, so has much the same effect.

I’d class the bar fridges as a “comfort” item. The kind of thing that does indeed make things easier for people receiving treatment in the hospital. In a world where the health system doesn’t isn’t written an annual blank cheque, I accept that it won’t be given priority by the hospital. But that doesn’t mean things like that aren’t important, and something like that donation might make the days of others that much easier. I commend the Samuels family for seeing a need and addressing it.

troll-sniffer 1:49 pm 05 Aug 10

Hardly a fair comment JB. And no gold stars for you Thumper, or you JessP.

Why is it that half the community think that because we al pay taxes there’s an unlimited supply of money to cater for every whim of every taxpayer? In every budget, whether it’s the fifty grand of a local school tuckshop or the ‘billion’ of the ACT Health budget, there are priorities. Admittedly there are decsions in expenditure we don’t agree with, but we’re not sitting in the chair with the decisions to be made and the responsibility for the budget’s bottom line and accountability.

Mathman’s post sums it up nicely.

nazasaurus 1:19 pm 05 Aug 10

The ACT public hospitals are a disgrace and I continue to be astonished when they have charity drives to buy vital pieces of equiptment. As someone relatively new to the public service I’m ASTOUNDED as to the wastage that occurs ( Yes you really need to go to your 3rd trip to Europe this year, flying first class to attend whatever it is you must attend- oh and how convenient your son lives there..) and yet we have to ‘beg’ the community for lifesaving medical equiptment for our public hospitals. I know that there are State/C’wealth separations here but that is the issue that needs to be tackled to ensure apprpriate funding and spending.

Meanwhile good on the Samuel family and other generous folk.

Lala.C 1:19 pm 05 Aug 10

This make me laugh. Where are all our taxes going to again?

sepi 1:03 pm 05 Aug 10

I was shocked at the conditions in the Calvary Public. There was a drafty window, so the room was freezing and I had to put my dressing gown on the bed as an extra blanket. Tiles were falling off the wall of the shower cubicle. Bedspreads were practically see through.

I then compared this to my plush APS workplace when i got back to work = new carpets, fancy kitchen with big fridge etc. It didn’t seem quite right that the sick people have the worse surroundings.

bobbatty 12:50 pm 05 Aug 10

Ha ha….ffs

I-filed 12:34 pm 05 Aug 10

Nice work. It’s great that this family thought of doing something they could afford, with a tangible benefit that isn’t swallowed up in consolidated revenue, or one-thousandth of a high-tech machine. In fact, the hospital should try to identify gifts of under $1,000 that patients and families and individuals can make. Bravo Samuels family!

JessP 12:34 pm 05 Aug 10

This is what we pay our taxes for…so we can make donations to buy the very things that SHOULD be covered by our taxes. And the Government sits back and lets us do it. Wrong on so many levels.

Mathman 12:26 pm 05 Aug 10

Its interesting to compare attitudes here in the big city with those in regional areas.

As a comparison, my mum lives in a small country town in northern NSW and is a member of the local hospital auxiliary. Apart from running the mobile library/snack trolley through the wards, they also fund raise for the hospital. Last year they raised over $140,000 from a population base of around 25,000 people.

With those kind of funds you’d be thinking they could provide every bed with a widescreen plasma TV but no, the money went towards the purchase of heart monitors – pretty standard equipment in modern hospitals. Last year it was a special refrigeration unit for keeping medications in.

My point is, people in the city expect community facilities to be supplied to a high standard solely by the government, whereas in the country they regard facilities like hospitals as part of the community and have no hesitation in supporting them, even though they pay similar amounts in rates and taxes.

bd84 12:13 pm 05 Aug 10

They’re too busy doctoring the waiting lists and coming up with traffic and parking management strategies related to their poor planning.

Thumper 11:54 am 05 Aug 10

Good point JB, and may I say, very well put.

I await Ms gallagher’s lame explanation as to why this cannot be done.

DonnyBoy 11:47 am 05 Aug 10

I guess they can’t have an adequate parking infrastructure and decent in-room facilities as well. Oh, wait….

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