Nationals promise cheaper medical travel for patients
AN elected Liberal Nationals Government will ease the cost of accessing specialist healthcare from rural areas such as the Alpine Shire according to Nationals Member for Ovens Valley, Tim McCurdy.
The move would benefit tens of thousands of people living in country Victoria with significant increases in the reimbursement rates for the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS).
Those who travel 100kms one way or 500kms a week for specialist medical treatment will be eligible for the financial assistance under the VPTA scheme which assists with the cost of travel- ling as well as helps the patient stay near the treatment.
Mr McCurdy said the policy was recognition that for far too long country people who have had to travel to see medical or dental specialists have been severely disadvantaged.
“Under a Liberal Nationals Government the VPTAS nightly accommodation support will increase from $45 to $60 and the cents per kilometre reimbursement rate will rise from 21 cents to 25 cents,” Mr McCurdy said.
“A Liberal Nationals Government will also make sure patients and carers are reimbursed faster by employing more staff to halve reimbursement times.”
Mr McCurdy said a Liberal Nationals Government will also undertake further investigation into the scheme to enhance access, including considering the minimum and cumulative distance thresholds, stepped payments for long-stay patients and inclusion of patients who travel to access clinical trials or require emergency care.
“The Liberal Nationals are committed to decentralising Victoria and encouraging growth in our regional areas; but to do that we need to ensure that all Victorians can access top quality healthcare.” turnaround
GET TOGETHER: Members of the Myrtleford & District Historical Society John Taylor, Philippa Cartwright and Gael Butcher join Museum visitors Anne Kelso and Barbara Sutherland from Lower Templestowe Probus Club in launching the Society’s 2019 Calendar.