Australian Health Directory

Special care  > Children  > Clown Doctors

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What is the Humour Foundation?

The Humour Foundation is a charity dedicated to promoting the health benefits of humour. International research has found there are physiological and psychological benefits to patients when humour is combined with medicine. Strong doses of humour helps relieve fear and stress before and during medical treatments and also assists patients with recovery.

Founded in 1997 by Dr Peter Spitzer, a GP, and Jean-Paul Bell, a performer, the Foundation's core project is the Clown Doctors(TM) program.

Who are the Clown Doctors?

Clown Doctors parody the hospital routine. They lighten the serious side of hospital, bringing support, fun and laughter and helping children return to their world of fantasy and play. The Clown Doctors touch the lives of over 50,000 people a year.

Clown rounds are conducted through all wards, intensive care, emergency, outpatients, and of course, the corridors, foyers and lifts. Clown Doctors also play a role in palliative care.

Sydney Children's Hospital became the first hospital to host the Clown Doctors in January 1997. Today, the program is hosted by all major children's hospitals in Australia and also visits regional hospitals. Clown Doctors also play a role in palliative care for adults and children with regular visits to nursing homes.

With the 'Smile around the World' project, Clown Doctors have helped people in Afghanistan and
East Timor find their smiles again.

Laughter is a serious business!

The Humour Foundation depends on community support.
Address Level 1, 28 Bridge Street
Pymble NSW 2073
Tel 02 8978 4500 or 1300 486 687
Fax 02 8978 4599