Ramsay Health Care and thousands of its workers have raised almost $150,000 to help the drought-affected farmers of Australia.
Staff at more than 70 hospitals, clinics and facilities across the country brought in $74,000 through barbecues, lunches and bake sales – many of them swapping their usual uniforms for farmer attire – and the company has matched that dollar-for-dollar.
“It has been truly overwhelming and uplifting to see the response across all Ramsay facilities,” Ramsay Australia CEO Danny Sims said. “Like the rest of the country, we are sympathetic to the plight of the farmers and this was one way we could offer some assistance to those who are really doing it tough on the land.”
Mr Sims gave special praise to Sydney's Westmead Private Hospital, whose staff raised more than $10,000.
The money raised has been given to the charity Rural Aid, whose counsellors have completed around 700 sessions in just six weeks with people from drought-affected communities.
“This donation will be put to good use to support our farmers in many ways including fodder for their animals, as well as mental health assistance,” Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder said.
Ramsay Health Care, Australia’s largest private hospital operator, is also waiving hospital excess fees and/or co-payments to make it easier for farmers to access treatments.
These discounts are available to eligible farmers and primary producers who present to hospital for treatment from the start of October until 31 March 2019.
“In this really tough environment, this will mean farmers can keep more money in their pockets and have better access to health services,” Mr Alder added.
For more information, visit the Ramsay website.