The Kiwi-Indian community is being urged to generously support a much-needed “Stryker M1 Ambulance Stretcher” to help clinicians prepare for saving critical lives during life-threatening situations.

The Auckland Health Foundation – the official charity for Auckland DHB’s adult health services – is relying on the generosity of the communities served by the DHB to make its ‘World-Class Simulation in Auckland’ project a reality.

Speaking to The Indian Weekender, Auckland Health Foundation Board Trustee Sameer Handa said, “We’re inviting The Indian Weekender readers to come together to purchase a Stryker M1 Ambulance Stretcher for $12,600.

Auckland Health Foundation Board Trustee Sameer Handa

“If every reader gave just $1 we would far exceed this target, but we understand not everyone can give, while some will want to give a lot more. We simply ask that people give what they can, so together we can fund the much-needed stretcher, and ensure the best possible care for our communities,” Mr Handa said.

Developing World-class Simulation in Auckland is a priority project of the Auckland Health Foundation, through which it is seeking to help Auckland DHB clinicians deliver world-class healthcare to the community.

Why is it a critical health service?

Simulation is critical for health professionals to practise and replicate real-life situations and get hands-on experience, which can be put into action during times of real need when saving lives.

Through simulation, clinicians improve their skills by practising complex and often life-saving procedures on realistic manikins that mimic every possible patient situation.

The Stryker M1 Ambulance Stretcher (image source:

What will this ambulance stretcher do?

The Stryker M1 Ambulance Stretcher is already used by ambulance crews across New Zealand because of its safety features for both patients and medical staff. The stretcher is fully automated and reduces the strain of moving and lifting patients. Training staff with the stretcher used by ambulance crews would be far more realistic when simulating patient handovers, which can be frantic, especially in emergencies.

One fateful Friday, Joanna Harris was driving north of Warkworth on SH1, when her car was struck by a van travelling the other way. She was airlifted to Auckland City Hospital, with her chance of survival less than 50 per cent. A team of 15 highly-skilled clinicians worked through the night to save Jo’s life. “You feel like you owe them your life,” she said.

Joanna Harris being treated at Auckland City Hospital after the accident (Image: Supplied)

Auckland DHB Adult Emergency Department Clinical Director Anil Nair said, “It may seem simple, but practising the quick and safe handover of patients is so important to ensuring people like Jo get the treatment they need as quickly as possible; and practising it as a cohesive team helps to identify hidden hazards, minimise possible complications and build staff confidence, which would further improve patient handovers and save crucial time.

“The stretcher would be used to simulate various scenarios whereby patients are wheeled into the emergency department by ambulance crews. It would also be used for manual handling training and to transport manikins within and between hospitals, which is currently difficult and time-consuming,” Mr Nair said.

18 months later: Jo at home in Wellsford with sons (L-R) Kaelebe, Robbie and Jacob (Image: Supplied)

How can you help?

You can help to ensure that anyone who can survive does survive. Please donate today towards the $12,600 target, and empower the people that care for us all to save more lives:

  • Go to, select for your donation to support ‘Developing World-Class Simulation in Auckland’ and type Indian Weekender in the comments
  • Via online banking to payee 02-0108-0440606-000 (Indian Weekender as reference)
  • By cheque payable to Auckland Health Foundation, sent to Private Bag 92 024, Auckland 1142 (write Indian Weekender on the envelope)
  • Call 09 307 6046, and quote Indian Weekender
  • Or visit the Auckland Health Foundation team on Level 15 of the Support Building at Auckland City Hospital.