Bupa Australia Pledges $100,000 and Establishes Bushfire Relief Fund

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Leading health insurer Bupa Australia has pledged $100,000 and established a Bushfire Relief Fund to help ease pain and suffering of thousands of Australians affected by the Victorian bushfires.

Bupa Australia today announced it would provide a $100,000 cash donation to the Red Cross bushfires appeal, as well as matching employee donations and initiating a relief fund, in support of the many thousands of Australians who have been affected by the Victorian bushfires.

Bupa has also made a commitment to all HBA Health Insurance, MBF and Mutual Community customers affected by the fires that it will process their claims as expediently as possible.

Bupa's managing director, Richard Bowden, said he would like to express his sincere sympathy on behalf of all employees to those who had lost their loved ones, their homes, and their livelihoods.

"The unprecedented loss of life and injury caused by the bushfires, and the accompanying devastation to entire communities, is a tragedy that has reverberated across our entire country," Bowden said.

"Bupa Australia has supported Victorians since 1934 through one of our leading private health insurance brands, HBA. We have committed $100,000 to the Red Cross bushfire appeal in recognition of the shocking devastation left in the Victorian bushfires' wake," Bowden continued. "In addition, we will match all employee donations dollar for dollar to try and help offset some of the pain and suffering the disaster has caused."

"Our businesses' vision is to take care of the lives in our hands, and we are hopeful that our collective cash donation will help fund food, shelter and other basic necessities to help alleviate the despair and suffering of those caught in the tragedy," said Bowden.

Bowden went on to say that the company was also immediately establishing the Bupa Australia Bushfire Relief Fund to provide support and assistance to all HBA, MBF and Mutual Community customers who have been directly impacted by the bushfires.

"This week's events are unprecedented and deserve special consideration. The Fund will focus on supporting our health insurance, car and home insurance customers, above and beyond what their cover would ordinarily entitle them to," he said.

"Importantly, the Fund will enable us to implement an independent and compassionate approach to the assessment of affected members' circumstances, and to get appropriate funding to them as quickly as possible," said Bowden. "While we understand this is an extremely challenging time for the nation, Bupa Australia is committed to helping those in need where we can."

Bupa's Australian aged care business, Amity Group, is additionally accepting cash donations from staff, residents and relatives across its 48 aged care facilities in Australia. Donations will be forwarded to the Red Cross.

Three of Amity's homes in the Whittlesea Shire are also coordinating a local appeal for clothing, bedding and food donations, to be distributed to the crisis relief centre at the Diamond Creek Community Centre.

"Our thoughts and efforts will be focused on all of the families and communities who have been, and who will be, affected by this terrible tragedy which still continues to ravage local towns and communities," Bowden concluded.

About Bupa Australia:
Bupa Australia is a leading health and care provider. With a significant presence in every Australian State and Territory, the company operates under the trusted and respected brands, MBF, HBA, Mutual Community and Clearview, proudly covering over 3 million Australians.

Bupa Australia is driven by the vision of "Taking care of the lives in our hands", and has the goal of helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives. The Company is focused on providing sustainable health insurance and financial services solutions that represent real value to customers, and on leading the industry in the promotion of preventative health and wellness - helping customers to better manage their health for the long-term.

Bupa Australia's products and services include cover for hospital, medical, ancillary and ambulance services, as well as travel, life, car and home insurance, and retirement planning and lifestyle management services.

The Bupa Group covers over 10 million people in over 190 countries, and provides other health and financial services to many more millions of customers around the globe. As part of the international health and care organisation, Bupa Group, Bupa Australia draws on the strength and expertise of a recognised global leader in the health care sector.

Amity Group is a leading private operator of residential aged care facilities in Australia. Amity, together with sister company Guardian Health Care in New Zealand, care for almost 7000 residents across 96 aged care homes. Amity and Guardian are also part Bupa Group. Bupa's aged care division, Bupa Care Services, have an industry-leading role with 21,000 beds in 303 UK care homes and 4300 beds in 43 homes in Spain.

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Arriarne Kemp-Bishop
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