Portland Aluminium Urgent Care Assistance Fund

Thursday, 19 December 2013
A fund that helps Portland district people in times of medical emergency has been extended for a further two years.

The Portland Aluminium Urgent Care Assistance Fund provides immediate support to people who are required to accompany members of their family transferred out of town to higher care hospital facilities.

Through assistance from the fund, a family member or support person can have accommodation and transfers arranged by a Portland District Health representative or apply to be reimbursed to cover those costs.

The fund has been used several times since its introduction in 2010; however some money has been unused from the previous agreement and has been used to help purchase a new portable ultrasound machine at PDH.

Portland Aluminium contributes $24,000 annually to the fund.

PDH Chief Executive Officer Chris Giles said the ongoing support was appreciated by the hospital and local community.

“The fund is extremely helpful for keeping families together during times of need, Ms Giles said.

PDH's Accident and Emergency Department provides high quality and safe care, however there are times when critically ill patients require transfer to another hospital for further treatment and specialist care,” she added. “In these instances, the fund can be a real support.

The fund is available for a parent or guardian of infants, patients aged under 21 transferred to Melbourne or other specialist hospital for inpatient care, and patients requiring surgical care following trauma.

Portland Aluminium Plant Manager Peter Chellis said Portland Aluminium was always looking to add value in the community through its Partnering Stronger Communities program. Safety is a core value for Portland Aluminium and we recognise that when families are faced with uncertainty it can be a very stressful time. To be able to take some of that away from them will play a small but significant role, he said.

Our new agreement with PDH also allows for the purchase of equipment for the Emergency Department through surplus program funds. It is great to know that we were able to help purchase such a needed piece of equipment that can aid so many people in not just the emergency department but the whole hospital,he said

Ms Giles said the $64,000 portable ultrasound machine was already being well used across the hospital.

While based in the medical imaging department, the machine is able to be moved to wherever it is needed, including the operating theatre and emergency department.

It has also enabled PDH to attract a new trainee sonographer/qualified radiographer to Portland.

Ms Giles said the machine would be valuable for years to come.

This is a fantastic addition to the facilities we have to offer to the community, she said.

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