Na­tion­als prom­ise cheaper med­i­cal travel for pa­tients

Alpine Observer - - People Around Town -

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.

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