Ramsay Health Care is extending a helping hand to the nation’s farmers, as severe drought conditions continue to impact rural areas.
Hospital excess fees and/or co-payments will be waived at Ramsay Health Care’s 73 facilities for eligible farmers who attend hospital between Monday October 1 this year and March 31, 2019.
Ramsay Health Care Australia CEO, Danny Sims, said the organisation wanted to help reduce some of the stress for farmers who needed to access health care treatments.
“The lack of rain is having a severe impact across NSW and parts of Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia,” he said.
“As an organisation it is important to contribute to relief efforts – our motto at Ramsay Health Care is ‘people caring for people’ and that includes farming people.
“Coming to hospital can often be a stressful time for people under normal circumstances, let alone for primary producers who are undergoing testing times through no fault of their own. We want to make it easier for drought-affected families to seek the care they need.”
The offer will be available to people who are privately insured, whose farm is located in a drought-declared area and who receive the Federal Government’s Farm Household Allowance. Farmers who wish to take up the offer will need to supply proof of their residential address and a copy of their Federal Government Farm Household Allowance approval from the Department of Human Services.
Mr Sims said Ramsay was also conscious of the social ramifications of the drought.
“In many instances, the drought is not only leading to financial stress for primary producers but is also taking a toll on the state of their mental health,” Mr Sims said.
“We want to offer our support to help alleviate some of this burden and this will include the delivery of mental health assistance to local farming communities.”
Staff fundraising lunches will also be held in Ramsay facilities across the country throughout September. Employees are being encouraged to dress like a farmer and each person will donate $5 to take part in the event.
Mr Sims said Ramsay Health Care would match the amount of money raised by each site and donate the funds to Rural Aid, which operates the Buy A Bale campaign.
“Our employees are already dedicated to helping patients who need treatment within our facilities,” Mr Sims said.
“Hosting this series of lunches across the country gives us all an opportunity to assist farmers beyond the boundaries of our hospitals and clinics.”
Ramsay operates 73 facilities in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.