Health professionals can now ‘virtually volunteer’ in international relief efforts, following the launch of ‘The Twice The Doctor Foundation’ in Australia.
In partnership with UNICEF and The Fred Hollows Foundation, Twice The Doctor Foundation involves health professionals volunteering a day of pay per year, which goes towards employing doctors and other healthcare workers on the ground in Africa.
Many doctors have already volunteered with funds going toward programs around the world including Sierra Leone where infant mortality is almost 8 per cent and 1 per cent of mothers die during childbirth.
UNICEF Health Programme aims to reduce these deaths by training over 4,000 health care providers.
Twice The Doctor Director, Dr. Robert Baume said the program is a way for health professionals to volunteer from their current practice. “Many doctors and health professionals would love to volunteer in Africa or a similar developing world program,”
Dr Baume said. “The realities of a busy practice and family life often prevent them from ever actually making the journey.”
“There is an enormous disparity in doctors’ wages between Australia and the Third World… One day of pay for an Australian doctor is equal to about one month for an African doctor and about six months for a nurse. The Twice The Doctor program allows us to amplify the power of Australian doctors.
“It’s about using our heads and our hearts to really make a difference.” For information visit www.twicethedoctor.org.au