The NSW Nationals & Liberals will significantly boost support for patients accessing high-quality medical care from regional, rural and remote areas if the Government is returned on 28 March.
Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Health Minister Jillian Skinner recently announced enhancements to the Isolated Patient Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme
(IPTAAS) will include:
- An increase in the petrol subsidy from 19 cents to 22 cents per kilometre – a 15 per cent increase;
- An increase in the commercial accommodation subsidy for eight to 14 night stays
- From $43 to $80 – an 86 per cent boost (single room) per night
- From $60 to $105 – a 75 per cent jump (double room) per night;
- An increase in the commercial accommodation subsidy for 15 night-plus stays
- From $43 to $105 – a 144 per cent boost (single room) per night,
- From $60 to $120 – a 100 per cent jump (double room) per night;
- A reduction in the patient co-payment from $40 to $30 – a 25 per cent decrease;
- Claims for prosthetic services will be eligible;
- Claims for some specialist allied health services will be eligible.
A re-elected NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will also:
- Simplify IPTAAS forms and make online claims easier;
- Reduce the time taken to process claims and reimburse patients;
- Establish a dedicated 1800-number to streamline patient and carer enquiries;
- Make small claims under $100 easier to lodge.
IPTAAS is a government initiative which provides financial assistance to patients, particularly those in regional, rural and remote areas, who have to travel for medical treatment.
Mr Grant said the NSW Liberals & Nationals have a proven record at enhancing IPTAAS and will continue improving the scheme for the benefit of patients.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals are committed to ensuring country patients and their loved ones are provided with genuine support during times of need,” Mr Grant said.
“IPTAAS benefits thousands of patients across this state each year, which is why the improvement of this service is our absolute priority.
“As cost of living pressures continue to grow, it’s vital we keep IPTAAS in line with community need to remove heavy financial burdens related to their care.
“I know these enhancements will provide comfort to the many thousand patients and carers in regional, rural and remote NSW who are currently accessing the scheme.”
Mrs Skinner said IPTAAS is a much-valued part of the health system, with more than 53,000 claims made last year.
“What these enhancements will deliver is a fairer service for country patients and their families,” Mrs Skinner said.
“Financially, it means patients who have to travel and stay for a number of weeks in Sydney, Newcastle or other major treatment centres for specialised care will be better off.
“As new treatments and cures are developed, it is crucial patients and their carers are provided with the necessary support on their journey to recovery.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals are listening to the clinicians and the community and these enhancements echo what they need and want out of the scheme.
“I want to thank peak bodies including the NSW AMA, the Council of Social Service of New South Wales (NCOSS), the Rural Doctors Association, Cancer Council NSW and the Leukaemia Foundation for their assistance in developing these improvements to IPTAAS. I welcome their support,” Mrs Skinner said.