Review of overseas medical donations


As charities and aid organisations prepare to respond to a post-pandemic world, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has commissioned a review of the standards required for donations of medical equipment abroad.

A new working group, chaired by the chief executive of Scottish charity Kids Operating Room David Cunningham, will seek views and opinions before proposing a new framework for medical donations in the autumn.

Dr Gregor Smith said:

“Scotland’s health expertise supports care for patients around the world. I have asked a small working group to review guidelines for donating medical equipment to low-resource countries to ensure we are at the forefront of best practise.”

Mr Cunningham said:

“We will create a framework to support anyone wishing to donate equipment to a hospital in a low-resource setting, ensuring Scotland can continue to support our friends and partners around the world in the safest way possible as the pandemic moves behind us.”


The Executive Committee on Global Health meets twice a year to promote effective and coordinated health sector involvement in global health. The group is chaired by the Chief Medical Officer and members comprise NHS, royal colleges, the third sector, public sector agencies, industry, and academic institutions. 

Kids Operating Room is a global health charity based in Edinburgh, Dundee and Nairobi. It works with Ministries of Health in low-income countries to develop access to safe surgery through local public hospitals. More than 30,000 children have accessed life-changing or life-saving care through their work.

The NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme, launched in June 2018,  supports the Scottish Government’s International Development Strategy, by making it easier for all NHS staff to participate in global citizenship. The Programme promotes the ethical and sustainable donation of surplus kit to low and middle income countries by NHS Health Boards where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

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