Butler secures review of medical travel subsidies


Member for Barwon Roy Butler says he has secured ministerial approval for a review of the IPTAAS scheme. Photo TWH

People in the Barwon electorate who travel for medical care may have their costs eased, after the NSW government agreed to review the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS).

Member for Barwon Roy Butler says he has secured a commitment from Health Minister Brad Hazzard to review the scheme, which he said fell short of providing adequate support for patients travelling long distances for medical treatment.

An increase in the subsidies will ease the burden of costs for Bourke and Brewarrina Shire residents, and people right across the western region.

“The current 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.

“Health Minister Brad Hazzard, in response to a question I put to him in Question Time on Thursday, has agreed to review the scheme’s rates and whether they’re appropriate, and report back within six months.

“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.


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