June 2017 donation update

Dear Colleagues
We have so far raised over $100,000 this financial year from your efforts. This goes an awfully long way towards providing medical services in the developing world – quite probably delivering over 1000 QALYs (quality adjusted life years) which translates to about 30 lives saved. It is sobering to recall that a similar amount of money might provide 1-2 QALYs for Australian patients.
I can also announce that we have passed a significant milestone;
over half a million dollars has been raised since TTDs inception just over three years ago.
Thank you to all who have contributed this year, I believe you should be justly proud and for those of you who may still be contemplating a contribution – it is certainly not too late this financial year!
Here are what I hope you might see as some compelling reasons to contribute.
1.      Contributions are fully tax-deductible. There’s no doubt you’ll be paying tax so would you rather give more to Messrs Turnbull and Morrison to decide how it should be spent or use it to help train general surgeons in the Congo, or obstetric nurses in Ethiopia?
2.      Speaking of money – numerous studies have been done on whether money makes one happy. There is some agreement that beyond a salary of about $75,000 per annum, the answer is “not much if at all”.  Moreover, there is widespread consensus that virtually at every income level, money spent on others makes one much happier than money spent on oneself. This is especially so when it is perceived to be spent wisely/effectively.
3.      There is a direct relationship between doctor’s burnout and a feeling of lack of making a difference to patients. Please have no doubt that our activities through TTD makes a huge difference to some of the most needful patients in the world. In addition, it is well known that contributing to something larger than oneself is a valuable strategy for avoiding depression.
4.      There has been quite a lot on TV lately about Mercy Ships – which have Western doctors volunteering to provide medical services to Africans. I think this is terrific for those who actually go but when you look at the website you will see that it is only certain types of surgeons that are required for a minimum 2 weeks commitment. Other doctors, if required at all, must generally commit to much longer periods – similar to the situation with MSF. Also, though there is no doubt that this would be an incredibly worthwhile and unforgettable experience for anyone who went, it is almost indisputable that if a surgeon worked in his/her own rooms for 2-3 weeks (remember, you have still got to get there) and donated the proceeds of those weeks’ work to highly efficient and effective surgical programmes just waiting to be expanded if the funds were provided…….. you get the picture.
So… In many ways we can all be “Mercy Ship doctors” by using our clinical skills, hearts and heads and supporting highly effective medical initiatives.
Regards to all
Rob Baume
(on behalf of the directors of TTD)