NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today both welcomed the State Government’s commitment to boost Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) rebates for patients accessing not-for-profit accommodation.
Mr Marshall said that IPTAAS subsidies assisted patients who must travel long distances to access specialist medical treatment.
“Country patients can spend weeks away from home while they receive treatment. For these patients, the costs associated with accommodation – especially in cities – can be a real drain on the hip pocket,” he said.
“In September this year, the government increased the IPTAAS subsidies available to patients accessing for-profit commercial accommodation, like hotels and motels, to help cover the costs of longer stays, but this neglected not-for-profit accommodation, which many people from the Northern Tablelands access.
“I am delighted that our lobbying to address this has been successful and that from February next year, eligible patients will also receive increased subsidies for longer stays in not-for-profit accommodation facilities.
“This is in recognition of the fact that not-for-profit accommodation providers support patients through their treatment program in a home-like environment, often over long periods of time.”
Mr Marshall said that the increased subsidy rate for patients staying in not-for-profit accommodation would increase to $65 a night for single rooms and $85 a night for double rooms for stays of eight nights or more per financial year.
“This represents an increase of more than 40 per cent to the existing not-for-profit accommodation subsidies – and a $2.7 million investment per year by the state government,” he said.
“The subsidy for the first seven nights in not-for-profit facilities will remain at $43 for a single room and $60 per night for a double room – the same subsidy available at commercial facilities for shorter stays.
IPTAAS subsidies are available to patients who live in regional areas and travel at least 100km one way, or a cumulative weekly distance of at least 200km.