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BMEs and BMETs helping our neighbours
Donating medical equipment

What medical equipment is needed? Is it safe? Will it work for the next 5 years?
Should you send your old biomedical devices?

Not all old medical equipment is useful. There is usually a reason it was taken out of serivce...

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Biomedical engineers can support the appropriate donation of medical equipment and devices:

  • Know the guidelines for donation of medical equipment
  • Contact Rotary DIK to see what medical equipment they need
  • Volunteer to assist Rotary DIK to functionally test donated equipment and certify electrical safety
  • Check equipment donated from your hospital meets the checklist conditions

Guidelines for donation of medical equipment

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Guidelines for the donation of medical equipment to Pacific Island countries

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in association with AusAID give guidelines for the donation of medical equipment to Pacific Island countries (see Engineers Aust for pdf) and advise the following are not suitable:

  • unserviceable
  • at the end of its life cycle
  • not supported by the manufacturer
  • spare parts not available
  • accessories and attachments not provided
  • consumables not provided or not available
  • the wrong voltage and frequency for the recipient country
  • unfit for use in the environment present in Pacific Island Countries, or
  • supplied without service manuals and user manuals

The document has a flowchart describing a good decision process in selecting donor medical equipment.

PNG National Department of Health: Acceptance of donated medical equipment

The PNG National Department of Health Biomedical Engineering Service (see Engineers Aust for pdf) have a procedure for acceptance of donated Medical Equipment. They advise that before they will accept donated electronic or electrical equipment, it must be supplied in good working condition complete with:

  • accessories and attachments for immediate operation
  • operation and service manuals in English and details of availability of user training
  • consumables for one year’s normal operation
  • reasonable certainty about the availability of consumables for at least five years
  • certification of electrical safety and correct operation by a competent biomedical service organisation prior to shipment
  • PNG standard 240V 50Hz mains power supply



Agrees to the donation

Working well
<5 years old on arrival to recipient
Set to Pacific standard 240V 50Hz
Able to be installed for safe use by recipient
Certified electrically safe and tested by a competent biomedical engineer or biomedical service organization before shipment

Operation and service manual in English
1 year supply of consumables for normal use
Accessories and attachments for immediate use
Freight paid to the recipient

Future proof:
Consumables available and affordable >5 years
Supported by the vendor/manufacturer

Ref: Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Equipment and In Kind Donations to International Projects Policy


Rotary Australia Donation-in-Kind (DIK) Service

This program, run by Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS), sources surplus goods and products within Australia that have no further use here. A central co-ordination committee stores, packs and dispatches the goods to needy countries. Medical equipment requires specific expertise and must involve experts who will check on suitability, working condition, “use-by” date, etc.

Hospital equipment that is urgently required by Rotary is mainly low tech. Their list can be found in the RAWCS operational procedures (PDF link being updated)

Beds & trolleys Equipment Other
Hospital beds of all types Small sterilisers and autoclaves Mattresses and bed linen
Over-bed tables Surgical equipment Wheelchairs*
Medicine trolleys Asthma equipment Crutches and walking frames
Bedside lockers Testing equipment Bedpans, kidney dishes
Operating theatre tables    
Hospital patient trolleys    
* Note: Wheelchair hard rubber tyres on the small wheels tend to break and fall off and small wheels are urgently required for maintenance of the wheelchairs already in use.

There is a local state DIK coordinator (Regions: Eastern, Northern, Western, Central) who should be contacted if you wish to donate equipment from Australia.

Rotary check that all donations are clean and correctly packed for shipment. The Regional DIK Chairman should be consulted about the appropriateness of donations before they are delivered. The Regional and/or National DIK Chairman determines the needs of the developing world from local Rotary Clubs, Rotarians visiting overseas, returning FAIM, SWSL or other volunteers, other Aid Agencies or business contacts.



Updated September 28, 2010