The NSW Nationals in Government are helping remove one of the biggest barriers for rural and regional patients, with a $25.9 million investment.

More than 31,000 rural and regional patients who travelled long distances to access medical treatment received a helping hand from the NSW Government’s Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme.

Member for Monaro and NSW Nationals Leader John Barilaro said the health and wellbeing of people living in the bush was a key priority.

“Investment in the IPTAAS scheme has more than doubled in the last eight years thanks to NSW Nationals in Government, from $12.2 million in 2011–12 to $25.9 million in 2018–19,” Mr Barilaro said.

“It’s great to see so many patients have benefited from the NSW Government’s $25.9 million investment into this essential travel assistance scheme.”

What is IPTAAS?

IPTAAS subsidises the transport and accommodation expenses people incur when travelling at least 100km – or a cumulative distance of at least 200km in a week – to access specialist medical treatment.

“When you live in regional areas the tyranny of distance can present many unexpected challenges, including affordable access to essential specialist medical services,” Mr Barilaro said.

“With many parts of the State currently struggling with the drought, I am backing communities with this travel assistance scheme. It makes a significant difference to patients.”

Since its introduction changes have been made to the scheme, to make it easier for people to access. These include removing co-payments, subsidising air travel booking fee costs and launching a new ICT claims system.

“Having a serious medical condition that requires specialist treatment is stressful enough, without the additional out-of-pocket costs,” Mr Barilaro said.

“By reducing travel costs, the Nationals in Government are helping remove a key hurdle to seeking specialist medical treatment when it’s needed.”

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