Peel Health Campus (PHC) staff have been raising money for drought-affected Australian farmers by hosting a special ‘Parma for a Farmer’ lunch to coincide with of R U OK? week.
PHC provided a free chicken parmigiana and salad to staff, who in return were encouraged to make a donation. In total $2,236 was raised for the farmers.
The money will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Ramsay Health Care (RHC) and donated to Rural Aid.
Ramsay’s WA operations executive manager Kevin Cass-Ryall said drought conditions in certain parts of Australia were taking a toll on the mental well-being of farmers.
“The lack of rain is having a severe impact across the country, especially on the east coast – and as a nation this is a real concern both for the country and the individual farmers and their families,” he said.
RHC will also waive hospital excess fees and/or co-payments to make it easier for struggling farmers to access the treatment they need.
Eligible farmers and primary producers who present to hospital for treatment between October 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, will be able to access these discounts.
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.
RHC Australia chief executive Danny Sims said the organisation wanted to help reduce stress on farmers.
“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,” he said.
“We want to make it easier for drought-affected families to seek the care they need.”