Monday 22nd October 2018
A Liberal Nationals Government will ease the cost of accessing specialist healthcare for tens of thousands of people living in country Victoria with significant increases in the reimbursement rates for the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS).
Victorians who have to travel more than 100kms one way or 500kms a week for specialist medical treatment are eligible for financial assistance under the VPTA scheme which assists with the cost of travelling to and staying near the treatment.
Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter said the policy is recognition that for far too long country people who have to travel long distances to see medical or dental specialists have been severely disadvantaged by the spiraling costs of travel and accommodation.
“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.
“A Liberal Nationals Government will also make sure patients and carers are reimbursed faster by employing more staff to halve reimbursement turnaround times.
The 10 extra staff dedicated to helping patients efficiently through the system and improving reimbursement times will be located in Ballarat.”
Mr Walsh 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”