Travel subsidy and renal dialysis major health talking points in west

Patient Travel Subsidy and renal dialysis major issues raised by western Queensland


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Lachie Millar (left) and Ros Bates (middle) met with Mario Abrigo from the Heart of Australia bus in Barcaldine.

Lachie Millar (left) and Ros Bates (middle) met with Mario Abrigo from the Heart of Australia bus in Barcaldine.

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Travel subsidy access and renal dialysis were two issues of growing concern.

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The Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme and better access to renal dialysis are two of the major issues raised during an outback fact-finding mission by LNP health spokeswoman Ros Bates and Gregory MP Lachlan Millar.

Ms Bates and Mr Millar have been touring through western Queensland in recent days, stopping in at hospitals in Emerald, Alpha, Barcaldine and Longreach.

One of the biggest talking points that continued to pop up during the trip had been the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme, Ms Bates said.

"It seems there is no uniformity of decision about who can access the scheme and when they get refunded, which is a big issue," she said.

"We have met with a number of patients who have had concerns about all of a sudden being sent to Rockhampton instead of Brisbane."

Mr Millar agreed that the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme was the headline health issue in western Queensland.

The scheme provides financial assistance so patients can travel to see medical specialists they would not be able to access locally.

"Patient travel subsidies are one of the number one issues out here," Mr Millar said.

"What we've got to remember is that people out here aren't asking for much.

"But when they go to their GP and get referred to a specialist, we've got to give them every opportunity to be able to get to that specialist."

The other growing concern that had been raised during the trip had been access to renal dialysis, Mr Millar said.

"We already have families from western Queensland that have had to relocate to Rockhampton or Townsville while leaving their family at home," he said.

"Renal dialysis, while it's not an epidemic out here, it is a growing concern."

Renal dialysis treatment needed to be made available in the major health services hubs of Longreach and Emerald, Mr Millar said.

"What we need to do is provide the option for them to have it out in Longreach and Emerald so they can get home that night."

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