Orthopaedic Outreach came into being in 1987 as the “Fijian Orthopaedic Training Program” under the Charitable Collection Act. The organisation was incorporated in 1989 and changed its name to Orthopaedic Outreach Fund in 1996, as a result of its humanitarian work now extending far beyond Fiji to include many countries in the Asia Pacific region.
Orthopaedic Outreach’s principal goal is to provide surgical training and services to the under-developed countries to our north. Training programs for Orthopaedic surgeons have been established in Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. In addition, Orthopaedic Outreach provides services to many other of the Pacific Island nations, Papua New Guinea and East Timor. A revised training program is currently being established in Bali in association with the Indonesian Orthopaedic Association.
Orthopaedic Outreach is registered with the Australian Taxation Office as a recognised charity provided with deductible gift recipient status, and as such all donations made to Orthopaedic Outreach are tax deductible.
Orthopaedic Outreach is also a registered member of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). The ACNC is the national independent regulatory authority, established to ensure public trust and confidence throughout the sector. It maintains a national register whereby annual reporting of not-for-profit organisations increases accountability and transparency while furthering robust internal processes and governance, enhancing a more sustainable and innovative not-for-profit sector.
Close working relationships have been established with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Pacific Islands Surgeons Association, and the Pacific Islands Orthopaedic Association, working collaboratively to achieve common goals across the region.
Australian orthopaedic surgeons, nurses and others give their time freely to work and train in these under-developed countries. Orthopaedic Outreach activities are funded entirely by donation, especially from the corporate world, Rotary and the surgeons themselves.
About our surgeons
- Outreach surgeons are fully qualified Australian surgeons with medical registration (APHRA) and membership of the Australian Orthopaedic Association and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
- Our surgeons usually choose their own team, which will include an anaesthetist and nurse. Teams tend to vary in size from 3 – 9 people, depending on the objectives of the visit.
- An Outreach surgeon will tend to visit the same country each time, as this provides greater consistency and efficiency at all levels. Surgeons build a relationship with the local doctors and are able provide consistent and ongoing training.
- At the end of each visit, the surgeon leading the team provides a report to outreach which includes information about the number of patients seen, the number and type of surgical procedures done, the particular problems faced but the medical team, cultural issues which may influence patient compliance, availability of medical supplies and requirements for future visits, operational status of medical equipment.
- Surgeons are not paid for the work they do, however, they can apply for reimbursement of a basic airfare. Reimbursement for flights is capped at $1,500 per trip and many surgeons generously fund their own airfare and do not seek reimbursement of any kind.
How Australian Surgeons Can Participate
- Australian orthopaedic surgeons should approach Graham Hextell, Orthopaedic Outreach Operational Manager on (02) 8071 8091
- We recognise that surgeons may have a special connection to particular country, or reason for wanting to work in a particular country. Outreach always seeks to accommodate such requests.
- Our greatest limitation in sending teams into the field is funding. We allocate funding to countries with 1) greatest need and 2) countries with whom we have an established program and a commitment to meeting long term clinical or educational objectives.
- We do not send surgeons to areas where there is an extreme safety risk and surgeons are never asked to visit a country against their wishes.
- We encourage all surgeons to become members of Outreach. Membership is $160 per year. Complete your membership form here