Agreement to keep charity in business

Health authority to resume equipment donations

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After apparently running out of hope, a Winnipeg-based aid agency has worked out an agreement with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to stay in business.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/09/2009 (4828 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

After apparently running out of hope, a Winnipeg-based aid agency has worked out an agreement with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to stay in business.

Roma Maconachie, president of International HOPE Canada, said she and WRHA boss Dr. Brian Postl hammered out a deal Friday that will allow WRHA facilities to donate surplus equipment without being held liable for mechanical malfunctions.

"It’s wonderful news," Maconachie said. "We’re staying in business."

WAYNE.GLOWACKI@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Roma Maconachie, pres. of International H.O.P.E. Canada with some of the collected used medical equipment in their warehouse they ship to the needy.

It was only a week ago that Maconachie went public with her concern that International HOPE Canada would have to shut down because the WRHA had decided to order its facilities to stop giving the agency surplus equipment.

That move came about when Health Canada informed medical facilities that they must track the location of any donated surplus equipment in the event it’s recalled for mechanical issues. The WRHA concluded it didn’t have the staff to monitor the equipment distributed around the world, and it suspended donations.

International HOPE Canada collects surplus medical equipment and ships it to medical facilities in Third World countries.

Heidi Graham, WRHA spokeswoman, said the health authority never wanted to hurt the work of International HOPE Canada, adding Postl met with Maconachie to resolve the issue.

"They reached an agreement that will minimize (the WRHA) risk," Graham said.

Maconachie said Postl accepted a proposal that International HOPE Canada will require all the recipients of its equipment to sign a waiver acknowledging the equipment is surplus and agree not to take legal action against the equipment’s donor for any malfunction.

"He said that was acceptable and that the WRHA would resume donating equipment," Maconachie said.

Maconachie said at her meeting with Postl — her first face-to-face meeting with him — he repeated that the WRHA supported the work of the agency and he wanted to find a solution.

"They didn’t want us to shut down," she said.

International HOPE Canada partners with aid groups which nominate communities that need the medical equipment and agree to pay the shipping costs.

In the past seven years, it’s shipped 26 containers to medical facilities in Ukraine, Africa, the Caribbean and the Philippines.

The bulk of the materials collected — hospital beds, wheelchairs, canes and crutches — came from the WRHA and other regional health authorities across the province.

The agency shipped a 40-foot container of supplies to Nigeria last week, Maconachie said, and it’s assembling materials for two or three more containers before the agency shuts down for the winter.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

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