VPTAS criteria needs review
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VPTAS criteria needs review

In his final address to State Parliament recently, Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, urged Labor’s Health Minister to consider reviewing the eligibility criteria of the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme, so it can better support East Gippsland patients.
“VPTAS provides Victorians who have to travel more than 100 kilometres one-way (or 500km per week) for specialist medical treatment with financial assistance towards the costs of travelling to, and staying near, that treatment facility.
Mr Bull raised the need for greater support during the final sitting week of State Parliament.
“For example, the Snowy Flamingos Cancer Support Group at Orbost has conducted a survey amongst its members in regards to out-of-pocket costs for those being treated for cancer,” he said.
“One of the group’s members has incurred over $15,000 in out-of-pocket costs.
“I understand you have to draw the line somewhere on distance but the threshold distance for VPTAS support needs reviewing, as do the rates for financial support, and I urge the Minister to do this,” he said.
Mr Bull said rural and regional Victorians did not have the same access to health care as Melbourne patients.
“Many of the families accessing this scheme cannot afford to be out of pocket for long periods.
“Improved processing times and increased financial support will deliver essential relief for families.
“This will improve outcomes for patients by increasing access to the best specialist care and removing the additional burden of financial stress during illness and treatment,” Mr Bull said.
Monday, October 8, 2018