THE wheelie walkers have gone walkabout, and Wodonga Hospital wants them back.
A critical shortage of the mobility aids has prompted the hospital to offer an “amnesty” on their return after patients have borrowed them — and failed to bring them back.
As many as 30 walkers on loan have not been returned, leaving the hospital with just 15.
“We have noticed a significant decline over the past six months, people just aren’t returning them,” Albury Wodonga Health physiotherapist Mikaeli Weddall said.
“As time expires they feel bad and think they may have to pay a lot of money on its return.”
Posters have been plastered around the health campus and doctor surgeries in a bid to recover them.
For those who do the right thing, there will be a “no questions asked” policy.
The hospital walkers are identified by a purple sticker that says “physiotherapy equipment”, and a silver reflective “hospital equipment” sticker.
Mrs Weddall said the walkers were valued at up to $250 each.
“We are asking people to return any walker they may have forgotten about, no questions asked,” she said.
“We will also accept wheelie walker donations if they are in good condition.”
The campaign has been running since last week.
“If people can’t borrow them from us they have to go elsewhere like a pharmacy, but it costs more and can be difficult for patients to access if they don’t have family here.”
The walkers can be dropped at the Wodonga CRC building at Wodonga Hospital between 8.30am and 5pm or taken to Wodonga Hospital’s main reception on weekends.
In genuine hardship, a pick-up can be arranged on (02) 6051 7400.