About Equal Health

Equal Health was founded in 1999 to provide free multi-disciplinary health services to people in need in developing countries who would generally not have access to such care. Equal Health has provided thousands of life changing appointments over the past ten years in developing countries like India.

We bring sight to the blind, relief from dental pain and improved health through providing access to health services, which many of the recipients generally wouldn't have. Equal Health's work is made possible by strong working relationships and collaboration with its partner agencies to deliver health care programs.

Equal Health also serves to train and equip the agencies' health care workers with skills and resources to improve the health of their communities on an ongoing basis. Equal Health conducts camps in India annually.

In February 2010, Equal Health provided over 10,000 life changing appointments in various locations throughout India. That's over 470 appointments a day!

There is a problem however, with large crowds attending Equal Health's make shift clinics in remote villages, in community halls or even under the shade of a tree, many people are unable to be treated.

You can help provide life changing appointments. Your support will change lives through providing access to every day health services that most Australians take for granted by:

History

Equal Health's beginnings lie in one man's plea for spectacle relief to bring sight to the underprivileged people in Tamil Nadu, India where he worked as Director of a Western Australian sponsored orphanage.

In response, Paul Clarke, a Perth based optical dispenser conducted a fact-finding spectacle aid initiative - 'Spectacle Aid to India Program' - in conjunction with the Australasian Dispensing Opticians Association (ADOA) in the village areas of Tamil Nadu in January 1997.

Consequently, the ADOA officially adopted the program under its banner. The 'Spectacle Aid to India Program' rapidly gained momentum, and opportunities to broaden its reach to other health disciplines arose.

In response, Paul Clarke and dentist Simon Shanahan proposed the formation of a new organisation that would encompass a multi-disciplinary approach to health aid. Consequently Equal Health was founded on 17 April 1999.

Since the first camp in January 1997, annual camps have been conducted in India and others in Indonesia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Thailand. Equal Health has also provided free spectacles for displaced Kosovars and East Timorese in camps around Australia and financially supported the repatriation of Balinese bomb victims.

Equal Health's work is made possible by strong working relationships and collaboration with its partner agencies to deliver health care programs.

Equal Health also serves to train and equip the agencies' health care workers with skills and resources to improve the health of their communities on an ongoing basis.

Equal Health's partner agencies are located in India's states of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal and include:

  • SEVAI (Society for Education Village Action and Improvement), Trichy.
  • Anandaniketan - Society for Mental Health Care, West Bengal.
  • Shishur Sevay - Kolkata

Mission & Values

To facilitate Australian volunteers in the provision of free health care for communities in need, regardless of political or religious affiliation; with professionalism, integrity and cultural sensitivity.

In the provision of free health care for communities in need, Equal Health values:

  • Professionalism
  • Integrity
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Ethical practice
  • Honesty

Equal Health in its operations also values:

  • Good governance
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Commitment
  • Inclusivity

Our Committee

Chairperson – Simon Everett

Vice Chairperson – Kristy Tomlinson

Treasurer – Donella Plowright

Secretariat – Donella Plowright

Minute Secretary – Heather Bennett

Head of Optical – Paul Clarke
India Camp Co-ordinator - Paul Clarke & Kristy Tomlinson

Head of Dental – Andrew Heap

Head of Allied Health – Nicki Hurwitz

Head of Allied Health – Gillian Hurley

Head of Medical – Kylie Brouwer

Head of Medical – John Whitelaw

Fundraising Coordinator – Hannah Parsons

Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator – Kristy Tomlinson

Governance

Management

Management of Equal Health is vested in its Management Committee. All members of the Management Committee volunteer their time and expertise and receive no remuneration. A variety of business/organisational professionals as well as health professionals across the medical, dental, optical and allied health disciplines form the Management Committee. The Management Committee reports to the Executive Committee, which is comprised of the organisation's office bearers.

An independent Auditor audits the organisation's financial reports every financial year as per the requirements under the Western Australian Associations Incorporation Act 1987.

Funding

Equal Health does not currently receive Government funding and receives all of its funding through its membership, and private and public sector support.

Equal Health is an AusAID approved organisation governed by established AusAID criteria and has adopted the Australian Council for International Development's code of conduct.

Equal Health is an incorporated body under the Western Australian Associations Incorporation Act 1987 Section (1), since June 1999, and received registration under the Western Australian Charitable Collections Act 1946 in March 2001.

Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) is an independent national association of Australian non-government organisations (NGOs) working in the field of international aid and development www.acfid.asn.au

Ethics Management

Code of Ethics

All volunteers work under the Equal Health ethos as outlined in the organisation's Code of Ethics.

Preliminaries

Equal Health volunteers agree to uphold the values of the "Mission Statement" and abide by this Code of Ethics.

Team Members

  • Always serve as a team player.
  • Understand and comply with the rules of the organisation.
  • Respond to the directions of the team leader.
  • Conduct yourself at all times in a professional manner.
  • Encourage the development of effective communication, understanding and co-operation between fellow team members.

Relations With Communities

  • Ensure total respect for existing cultural practices.
  • Consider the views, interests and concerns of health care recipients.
  • Understand the culture before arriving in the community.
  • All information recorded in the course of aid work must be treated with respect and sensitivity to cultural beliefs and values.
  • Uphold high standards of personal and professional integrity.
  • Avoid all discriminatory practices.
  • Do not exploit the recipients of the aid in any form whatsoever.
  • Be aware of not passing on sensitive information to third parties that may endanger the welfare of the people you are helping.
  • Seek feedback from the community.