Subsidy scheme ‘not good enough'

PATIENTS on the Fraser Coast who are forced to travel to major centres for treatment are demanding an increase to the patient travel subsidy scheme and say it does not realistically cover expenses.

Maryborough resident Lynette Beck is one of 12, 0000 Fraser Coast residents in the past year who have had to rely on the PTSS for vital medical services.

Queensland Health has spent $1.8 million since July last year subsidising travel for those 12,000 residents but Mrs Beck believed it was not enough.

For the past five years, she has used the scheme for public transport and accommodation to get herself to and from Brisbane's Wesley Hospital for surgery and chemotherapy.

She believes the $30 per night per person subsidy is unrealistic about the real cost of commercial accommodation in Brisbane.

If she stays with relatives, Mrs Beck is eligible for a $10 per night subsidy, which she says is barely enough to cover a meal.

“It's like jumping through hurdles all the time and I am only one of thousands,” she said.

A Queensland Health spokesman stressed each situation was decided on a case by case basis and the PTSS formed one part of a strategy to assist regional patients.

The spokesman said Queensland Health was working towards developing the services on the Fraser Coast which would decrease the number of patients forced to travel.



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