2 April 2020
Western Health has launched an Emergency Relief Fund to fast track support for staff and patients across the health service in the fight against COVID-19.
The dedicated fund will direct donations towards the purchase of new equipment to cover increased demand during the crisis situation, to fund new healthcare initiatives such as telehealth and other digital platforms, and a wellbeing program for staff working on the frontline.
"This is such an unprecedented situation," says Julia White, Director of Western Health Foundation. "Although the health service has budgets in place, our resources will be tested and stretched to the limit."
"The Emergency Response Fund will empower us to purchase those items we may not even know we need yet, and to do so quickly when we need to."
Western Health is well-placed to handle the challenges over the coming months having commenced preparations back in January.
A dedicated Respiratory Assessment Clinic has been established at Sunshine Hospital, new wards have been prepared with additional acute and intensive care capacity to manage the expected increase in demand, and recruitment is underway for additional staff.
"Somewhat appropriately, this year also marks the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife," says Julia.
"Our nurses, doctors, and support staff are working tirelessly around the clock to ensure that our community receives the best possible care. Now, more than ever, they will need our support.
"We are asking members of our community to show their support by submitting a message of encouragement and appreciation. These messages will be vitally important to staff morale over the coming weeks."
To make a donation and/or send a message of support visit www.itsuptous.com.au or call the Foundation on 03 8345 7660 to donate via phone.
If you suspect you may have the Coronavirus, please call the DHHS hotline on 1800 675 398, open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Further information is available at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.