Foundations step in with mobile care isolation units to address universal IC shortage

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Apr 16, 2020
By the Philips Foundation team
  • A coalition consisting of Philips Foundation, AFAS Foundation and Noaber Foundation has procured and made available five temporary 20-bed hospitals in countries most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The extra capacity can be used to relieve the pressure on hospitals contending with the influx of patients, both with COVID-19 and other conditions.
  • The first two out of five mobile care isolation units will go to the Lombardy region and Sardinia in Italy.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands — Philips Foundation, which has the ambition to provide quality healthcare for disadvantaged communities by deploying Philips expertise, innovative products and solutions, today announced together with AFAS Foundation and Noaber Foundation to exempt three million euros for the procurement of five mobile isolation care units for areas most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The mobile isolation care units are intended to expand hospital care, as the increasing number of local coronavirus cases affects capacity constraints. The additional capacity consists of 20-bed inflatable moduled tents, built to support the screening and hospitalization of patients and to provide first aid and quality healthcare to people suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. Depending on the need, the isolation care units can also be used for hospitalization of non-COVID-19 cases to alleviate the pressure of the influx of patients into hospitals.


Foundations join forces


For the first time, Philips Foundation, AFAS Foundation and Naober Foundation formed a coalition in the fight against COVID-19. Philips Foundation leads the operation in terms of coordination and delivery of essential medical equipment where possible. Both AFAS Foundation and Noaber Foundation committed to supporting the operation financially.


“We see ourselves as a partner who contributes and participates through impactful investments that improve people’s health, including the prevention of people falling ill,” said Matthijs Blokhuis, Director of Noaber Foundation. “This initiative provides not only first aid to people infected by the coronavirus, but also prevents other emergency room patients not related to COVID-19 to be exposed.”


“Especially now, it's important that companies and foundations pull together and make an impact," adds Gerben Eversdijk, director of the AFAS Foundation. “This is such an example, which we hope will be an example for other companies and foundations. These units, one of which can also be installed in the Netherlands if necessary, are vital to stop this outbreak. The focus of the AFAS Foundation is now on alleviating the need created by this virus.”


The goal of the Foundations is to deploy the insulating tents where the need is greatest. The mobile care units will be operationalized in close cooperation and consultation with governments and hospital administrators. The allocation of the first two of the five mobile care isolation units – with assistance from the Italian Red Cross, which is also responsible for construction and coordination – goes to the Lombardy region and Sardinia in Italy.


“It’s in these times we must join forces wherever possible to accelerate access to critical care for the people who need it most,” said Margot Cooijmans, Director of the Philips Foundation.

About Philips Foundation

The mission of the Philips Foundation is to reduce healthcare inequality by providing access to quality healthcare for disadvantaged communities through innovation, reflecting our commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) and 17 (Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development). We do this by deploying Philips expertise, innovative products and solutions, by collaborating with key partners around the world, and by providing financial support for innovations that help improve healthcare provision in a sustainable way. More information on the Philips Foundation can be found at

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About AFAS Foundation

The AFAS Foundation inspires and does. Where we see opportunities to do better than is currently the case. Always with big impact. Because it can move people forward. Or because it inspires many people to change. Together with other parties, the AFAS Foundation realizes that this has a significant impact on the world around us. More information on AFAS Foundation can be found at

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About Noaber Foundation

The Noaber Foundation is a Dutch family foundation with ANBI recognition (A Public Benefit Organisation). The foundation’s mission can be resumed as follows: driving change, improving health. The foundation finances innovations that support health improvement and bring about changes. This support is done within a hybrid financing model: by making donations available for projects and by investing in start-ups and growing companies. More information on Noaber Foundation can be found at

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