THIS week marks the launch of South Gippsland Hospital’s first major fundraising appeal for many years.
The aim is to raise $120,000 for a solar power system to save on energy costs and direct these funds to clinical care services.
Hospital Board President Neil Roussac said, “We are excited to be holding this fundraising appeal with a clear goal and one that will provide ongoing benefits. We know the community appreciate their hospital and the services it provides across the age groups in the region to locals and visitors alike.
“We have received our first donation to kick off the appeal of $7,500 – or ‘30 panels’ – raised by this year’s Murray to Moyne Bike Relay team, and we are most grateful for their fantastic effort.”
Mr Roussac explained that financial resources are tight and if the hospital is going to continue to provide the range of health services it does, it needs to look at innovative ways to be more efficient.
He said “Currently, our electricity and gas needs run at about $80,000 a year. Hospitals use huge amounts of energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week, mainly during the daytime, for such things as sterilisation, catering and cleaning, lighting, heating and cooling, Theatre, various medical equipment and the CT machine.
“During the day is also when solar really comes into its own, and rather than receiving relatively little from feeding generated energy back into the grid, we will make significant savings by using it ‘on demand’.”
External evaluation of the hospital’s energy use and what can be generated from available roof space from photovoltaic panels and solar hot water to offset this usage indicates savings of at least $15,000 to $20,000 a year.
The theme of the hospital’s Solar Project Appeal is ‘turning’ sunshine into babies, cardiac rehabilitation, district nursing, a falls prevention group or almost anything to help care for you by going solar and saving.
“If you have ever been a patient in our hospital, had your children here, had treatment in the Urgent Care Clinic or just have the comfort of knowing the hospital is close to where you live, operate your business or holiday, we ask you to support the South Gippsland Hospital Solar Project Appeal,” said Mr Roussac.
“Donations are tax deductible and those donating the cost of one or more ‘panels’ will be acknowledged on an honour board in the entrance to the hospital. You can ‘name’ your panel(s) for children born at the hospital, in memory of a loved one, as an individual or as a family or business.”
Donations can be made directly to the hospital, on line at http://southgippslandhospital.org.au/donate/ or through the hospital’s letterbox appeal.