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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 821 asked in the Legislative Council on 14 October 2021 by Hon James Hayward

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 41 Session: 1

Answered on


821. Hon JAMES HAYWARD to the minister representing the Minister for Health:

I refer to transport options for seniors in Collie to access health care in Bunbury.

(1) Can the minister advise what transport options seniors in Collie have if they wish to access healthcare services in Bunbury and are not able to drive?

(2) Can the minister confirm that seniors in Collie do not have access to the patient assisted travel scheme as Collie is too close to Bunbury?

(3) Is the minister concerned that seniors in Collie may not seek required medical treatment in Bunbury as the cost of transport can be prohibitive?

(4) Will the minister work with his colleagues in other portfolios to ensure seniors in Collie have the same opportunities to access health care as seniors in the metropolitan area?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I answer this on behalf of the minister representing the Minister for Health. I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1)–(4) A number of services are available for seniors living in the regions. Pensioners can access two free trips on Transwa services each year. Collie Community Home Care offers subsidised transport services to seniors. Transport to medical appointments might be available as part of commonwealth home support and home care packages. The Country Age Pension Fuel Card scheme provides up to $575 annually. The taxi user subsidy scheme is available to people with a vision, mobility or cognitive impairment that prevents them from accessing public transport. Department of Veterans' Affairs clients can access free taxi services to attend medical appointments.

The patient assisted travel scheme subsidies are available to people who have to travel more than 100 kilometres each way to access their closest medical specialist or if they have to travel more than 70 kilometres each way for renal dialysis and chemotherapy. The distance from Collie to Bunbury is 55.5 kilometres. Therefore, patients are not eligible for PATS subsidies for this journey. The PATS policy provides for exceptional rulings that take the individual circumstance of an application into account. Telehealth services are provided at Collie Hospital and a range of visiting services are also provided.