Urgent appeal for the Nepal Thalassaemia Society

Over the last few days we have all seen the news about the devastating earthquake in Nepal. There are many charity appeals going on at the moment and they are all worthwhile. However there is one charity very close to home and close to my heart and that is the Nepal Thalassaemia Society. It was founded by a British woman, Wendy Pinker, living in Nepal. This lady, who is not a healthcare professional and has no personal connection with thalassaemia, has single-handedly raised enough money to not only open a thalassaemia transfusion clinic in Kathmandu, but to keep it open and running since 2009. The clinic provides free transfusions for over 120 very poor children on a fortnightly basis.

The clinic building has miraculously survived the earthquake, but may need some structural work. However many of the thalassaemia children (who travel many hours to Kathmandu for their transfusions) live in the epicentre of the earthquake and have lost their homes, some are spending the freezing nights in animal sheds with the buffalo, some are in tents and many are in very remote areas. They are in desperate need of our help.  The clinic also urgently needs blood and medical supplies.

Many of us want to donate money to help the earthquake victims; but by donating to the Nepal Thalassaemia Society we can make sure that our donations are going directly to help families affected by thalassaemia. The relief efforts are being coordinated by Wendy Pinker in the UK and Durga Pathak, the President of NTS, in Nepal. Please, if you have a spare couple of pounds, consider sending them to NTS for the benefit of the children – a very little money goes a long way in Nepal and you can be sure that your donations are going directly to those in need with thalassaemia.

Every single penny donated will go directly to the Nepal Thalassaemia Society.

Bank details

Nepal Thalassaemia Society
Account No: 71463209
Sort Code: 40 47 34
IBAN: GB68MIDL40473471463209

Email: pinkyland_2000@yahoo.co.uk

Address for cheques:
Wendy Pinker,
13 Phoenix Way,
Bristol BS20 7FG
Please make cheques payable to Nepal Thalassaemia Society

Email from medicare about the reciprocal health care agreement

“Dear Sir,

Thank you for your email.

The Australian Government has signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with the Governments of Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Malta, Italy, Norway and Slovenia which entitles eligible people to limited subsidised health services for medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia.

An eligible visitor from the United Kingdom (UK) is a person who:

  • was ‘ordinarily resident’ in any part of the territory of the United Kingdom immediately before arriving in Australia and
  • has not entered Australia with the specific intention to obtain medical treatment.

Note: a citizen of the United Kingdom who was not ‘ordinarily resident’ of the United Kingdom immediately before arriving in Australia is not eligible to enrol in Medicare under the RHCA.

The documents required if presenting a current non-British passport are:

  • valid European Health Insurance card bearing the initials ‘UK’ or
  • National Health Service Medical card (Great Britain and the Isle of Man) or
  • Health Service Medical card (Nthn Ireland) or
  • certificate issued by Social Security Committee of the States of Jersey or
  • Proof of Insurance issued by the Guernsey States Insurance Authority or other proof of residence in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

The above cards required are to support residency. If these cannot be provided, you must provide two or more proof of residency documents from the UK.

Other forms of evidence of a person’s residency in a RHCA country include proof of the following in that country:

  • employment
  • property ownership or rental
  • utility accounts
  • bank accounts
  • vehicle registration
  • children attending school.

Eligible visitors from the United Kingdom (including Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland) have access to:

  • Medicare benefits for medically necessary out of hospital treatment
  • medically necessary treatment as a public patient in a public hospital
  • medicines available on prescription which are subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), at the general rate.

I trust this information will be of assistance.


Yours sincerely

Christine Simonit
Service Officer, Enquiry Resolution
Health Support & Business Services Division
Provider Services Branch
Australian Government Department of Human Services

Parramatta Smart Centre
130 George St Parramatta 2150
PO box 9822 Sydney 2001

Thalassaemia and sexuality

I remember the frustrations around puberty and coming of age, when I was in high school. We were turning from kids to teenagers. The boys would start growing facial hair and their voices would deepen. The girls would begin developing breasts, menstruating, and shaving their armpits and legs. And everyone was a mess of their raging hormones.

We, guys, were obsessing over who would be next to start growing facial hair. We’d talk about how much each girl’s breasts had grown. We were turning from asexual children to sexual beings.

Continue reading Thalassaemia and sexuality