30 June, 2023
Travel subsidy increase
A TRAVEL subsidy for patients who access essential health care away from their home communities has been increased.
Announced in the State Budget, the government will fund an increase in the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme, which provides financial assistance mostly to rural, remote and regional Queensland who have to access essential specialist health services not available within 50km of their closest public health facility.
Under the changes, the patient accommodation and escort subsidy will increase by $10 per person, per night to $70 per person, per night.
The fuel subsidy will rise by four cents per kilometre, taking it to 34 cents per kilometre.
In 2023-24 the government has also provided funding in relation to repatriation costs for deceased patients under the PTSS to their place of residence.
Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the PTSS had provided more than $700 million in travel and accommodation subsidies since 2015-16 so that patients could receive the care they required.
“Over 234,600 claims were made in 2021-22 alone, highlighting just how critical this scheme is for regional, rural and remote Queenslanders,” she said.
“We recognise there needs to be an increase in this subsidy to lessen the financial burden on people who need to access this scheme.
“With the inflation rate at approximately 7.7 per cent in 2022-23, Queenslanders are already feeling the pinch.
We believe a 16 per cent increase in the accommodation and escort subsidy and a 13 per cent rise in the mileage subsidy will make an enormous difference.”