Member for Barwon Roy Butler secured a commitment from Health Minister Brad Hazzard in Parliament last week to review the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS).
“The current IPTAAS subsidies of 22 cents per kilometre for private vehicle travel, and $43 per night for the first seven nights per financial year, fall well short of making the smallest of dents in the huge travel cost people in my electorate incur when travelling for medical care,” Mr Butler said.
During Question Time Minister Hazzard agreed to review the IPTAAS rates, and whether they’re appropriate.
“He’s agreed to report back to me on that within six months,” Mr Butler said.
“The current rates are an insignificant amount when you look at the distance my constituents are forced to travel to access care, and the number of nights they end up being away from home.
“Unfortunately what we see is people in the bush not accessing care because they simply cannot afford the cost of travelling, they can’t afford the cost of time off work and paying for fuel and a hotel room.
“Having this situation occur in NSW in 2021 is unacceptable.
“I accept that people in my communities will have to travel for some kinds of specialist medical care.
“What I don’t accept is the massive cost people are expected to bear.
“I’m pleased the Minister has agreed to my request – the proof will be in the report from the Government – it’s absolutely vital that they act on this issue to support people in the bush.”
Minister Hazzard has also responded to Mr Butler’s calls to review the application process to reduce the burden on people who are already under increased levels of stress due to theirs (or their loved ones) illness.