Supporting Our Health Workers

Supporting Our Health Workers

Pictured (L-R:) FNQ Hospital Foundation Interim CEO
Tony Williamson and Chairman Ken Chapman

By Robyn Rankin

The community and the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation are well on their way to answering the call put out by hospitals for extra resources to help battle the COVID-19 epidemic as it rolls out over coming months.

“The hospitals across the region and their staff put out the call to us and we as a community and the Foundation, are answering it,” Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said.

“This is a special list of extraordinary additional equipment to allow the staff to be incredibly well-prepared and resourced as this pandemic rolls out over the coming months,” he said.

“We need to support the staff of these hospitals who are the heroes of this time.”

“They put out the call and we as a community need to answer it.”

In just a few short weeks we have raised $832,000 for this campaign and also committed $1,500,000 from commercial income, general donations and monies donated for individual hospitals across the region. That leaves only $574,000 still to be raised.

Foundation CEO Tony Williamson said the lofty target was set after gaining a wishlist from the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service of COVID-19-related equipment for eight local hospitals, including Cairns.

Funds donated to specific hospitals for general purposes, also adds to the tally.

“As we’ve all seen, this virus is not contained to the big cities, it is spreading everywhere and by supporting the small hospitals with the equipment they tell us they’d like, we’re supporting everyone,” Mr Williamson said.

“Cairns Hospital along with the Mossman, Mareeba, Atherton, Yarrabah, Babinda, Innisfail and Tully hospitals all need equipment over-and-above what the governments provide and in addition to current money raised,” he said.

Hospitals within the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service are well-prepared for COVID-19. These hospitals have identified there is extra equipment that will help them better care for an expected influx of patients with COVID-19.

“While the State Government has provided significant funding, community support can provide additional medical and intensive care equipment that will have far reaching benefits to all in the Far North,” Mr Williamson said.

The extra equipment includes items such as ventilators, iPads to assist with telehealth, resuscitation trolleys, oxygen regulators, videolaryngoscopes, highflow oxygen devices, and CPAP machines.

“Those individual hospitals are seeking between $200,000 and $300,000 each and we are seeking $566,000 for Cairns Hospital,” Mr Williamson said.

To help finalise the fundraising campaign and raise the final $573,000, call the Foundation’s fundraising office on 4226 6327 or donate online at