International Healthcare workers in Australia get 3 months free phone service from local...

Healthcare workers in Australia get 3 months free phone service from local telco

"We will be waiving their Optus mobile bill access charges in recognition of their invaluable support and dedication,” said Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin

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As part of the recognition for the life-saving work during the current coronavirus pandemic, Australian telecommunications company Optus is offering doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers free phone services for three months.

The telco, which is the second-largest in the country, launched the initiative to shoulder the bills of all registered healthcare workers in response to News Corp’s campaign to support them.

According to Optus’ newly-installed CEO, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, “These are trying times and we recognise that our health workers are putting themselves on the front line day in day out to protect and help Australians during this pandemic, and we want to say thank you.

We are so grateful to all the nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers who are working in unprecedented conditions. So, we will be waiving their Optus mobile bill access charges in recognition of their invaluable support and dedication.”

News Corp had published a wishlist for what they wanted to see as support to medical workers during the coronavirus pandemic, which included additional personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers, among other items.

The Optus CEO added that the telco recognized how important communications services are during this time and that it would continue to provide networks with sufficient strength as well as prioritise critical service needs.

“We are proud to recognise and support the heroes on the front line who are supporting us,” she added.

Optus will also be boosting mobile data allowances as well as suspending certain subscription fees until the end of May and is offering further support to its customers who may be facing financial straits at the moment, including small business owners.

Vodaphone, another Australian telco, has similarly offered two months of free service to healthcare practitioners.

As for Telstra, which is the biggest telco in the country, it has not yet announced plans to offer similar free phone service to health care workers.

However, according to the Herald Sun, a spokesman from Telstra said that the company would consider new endeavours to support frontline workers. At the moment, healthcare workers may access additional mobile phone data this month as well as unlimited broadband downloads. This has been made available to all its customers.

The spokesman is quoted as saying, “We have the utmost respect for our frontline medical teams, and they’re doing phenomenal work under difficult conditions. We have announced a range of initiatives to assist customers, small business and the broader community during this time of uncertainty.” —/TISG

Read related: Australia supermarkets start ‘elderly hour’ to counter panic-buying

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