Patient Travel Problems to be Addressed

Emerald’s Tuesday Ladies Cancer Support Group this morning heard that the ongoing problems with the processing of patient travel subsidy claims for patients travelling for treatment from the Central Highlands have been raised with the senior executives of the Central Queensland Health and Hospital Service by the local member Lachlan Millar MP.

“There are difficulties for people accessing advice and lodging forms, there are difficulties with lengthy delays in processing people’s claims and there are difficulties with the speed of payments,” said Mr Millar.

“I get very fired up about this because this is money which the government has allocated to help rural patients travel for diagnosis and treatment. This is the only way Queensland can provide many health services in a state as large as this,” he said.

“So that is all the more reason that the process needs to be made as easy and as fast as possible. The patients relying on it can’t be put in a position where they skip treatments because they can’t afford to fund the travel due to slow payments of the subsidy.”

Mr Millar said he was happy with the outcome of the meeting and he felt the new CQHHS executive was fully aware of the depth of his concerns.

“I am confident that the senior executive fully understand the problem and they are personally committed to fixing a system which is clearly broken. I have told them I will be taking a keen interest in their progress and that I hope to see a better system put in place which will not only clear the large backlog of claims, but prevent backlogs occurring in the first place,” he said.

“I look forward to seeing the new procedures and staffing arrangements put in place and I thank the Board and executive of the CQHHS for their focus on this problem.”

Mr Millar said some of the difficulties have been created through the Patient Travel office in Brisbane constantly changing the paperwork with little or no understanding of the difficulties this creates for patients.”

“I will be raising this issue in Brisbane and hopefully we can resolve that as well,” he said.