SENIORS — HEALTH CARE — COLLIE
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
I answer this on behalf of the
minister representing the Minister for Health. I thank the honourable member
for some notice of the question.
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.