When a child living on a remote Pacific island needs emergency surgery, the chances of them receiving appropriate treatment in time – are slim to none.

In Vanuatu, for example, there are only four surgeons to support the entire country.

You might remember the little boy, Peter, that needed urgent medical attention from my recent letter. Thanks to your support, Peter was fortunate to receive safe, quality surgical care from surgeons like Dr Trevor Cullwick. Trevor is a Ni-Vanuatu doctor who received assistance from RACS Trainees and Fellows to train as an orthopaedic surgeon in Australia. But across the Pacific and Timor Leste, there are gifted doctors who do not have the opportunity to become surgeons. If they did, many more children could live without life-threatening injuries or debilitating physical conditions, like Peter.

This need has only increased during COVID, making your support today even more important. 

With your help, the solution is two-fold: support local doctors on the ground to help build their surgical skill and capacity, and train new surgeons in critical specialisms so they can return to their home country and increase the delivery of safe and quality surgical care further.

Your gift to help support one operation in a country like the Vanuatu, Solomon Islands or Timor Leste will make five times the impact; so, you will now fund five operations. This means more children, like Peter, will have a fighting chance at surviving high-risk surgery.

I am asking for your help because I know you want to give more children access to safe and quality surgical care. And if you are anything like me, I know you would like your support to have as much impact as possible.

And today, every donation you make to the Foundation for Surgery will be combined with funding from the Australian Government to reach more people. We have committed to contribute $1 for every $5 we receive from the Australian Government. Your donation will allow us to reach and support those that need quality, surgical care urgently – only if I can raise $300,000 from our Australian colleagues within the next 24 hours. 

I am often asked how much money is spent on administration and fundraising. Not only will your gift be matched by five today, but as Chair of the Foundation for Surgery, I am proud to tell you that 100 per cent of your donation will always go directly to meet critical surgical need and the cause you care about.

Not only that, but in this campaign, every dollar you give will now be multiplied by five. Please donate online. There are only 24 hours left to show your support.

You will help give children access to critical healthcare and life-saving surgery. I hope I can count on your support because the more you give, the more we can do.



John Batten
Chair, Foundation for Surgery
Royal Australasian College of Surgeon