Posted on 20. Aug, 2013 in News

Physiotherapy treatment for road accident victims is at risk because the Napthine Government won’t fix the gap between Transport Accident Commission fees and the market cost of consultations, Shadow Minister for the TAC, Luke Donnellan, said today.

Mr Donnellan said the Minister for the TAC, Gordon Rich-Phillips recently told Parliament’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee that physiotherapy fees covered by the TAC were adequate and refused to commit to raising the standard fees for physiotherapy sessions for victims of road trauma.

Mr Donnellan said that the Minister’s claim that the TAC fee structure had to remain “sustainable” was a poor excuse for not providing for victims of road trauma to receive physiotherapy.

“The Napthine Government claims it can fund an $8 billion tunnel that no one voted for or wants, yet it can’t find money to ensure road victims can get the treatment they desperately need to rebuild their lives,” Mr Donnellan said.

Mr Donnellan said based on 2011/12 TAC data of the funded $1.01 billion in support services
and benefits for clients, 44,410 people received funded support and there were 19,002 new claims made.

“The Napthine Government is refusing to come into line with other states including Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory whose equivalent schemes and insurance companies fully cover victims of road trauma above market value.

“The Napthine Government has essentially hung out to dry road accident victims as TAC clients may miss out on treatment due to the gap between TAC fees and the market cost of physiotherapy consultations,” Mr Donnellan said.

“The Napthine Government has refused to fix this issue and is at risk of creating a two-tiered physiotherapy system where TAC clients who need treatment may miss out.

“If the Napthine Government doesn’t act, the system is not sustainable for clients as physios can’t afford to treat them.

“The fees covered by the TAC are the lowest in the country; at only $48.50 for a standard consultation (standard consultation cost in 2012 was $63.90).”

Mr Donnellan said Australian Physiotherapy Association Victorian Branch President Bridget Shaw had also raised the concerns with him about the gap for TAC clients.

Mr Donnellan said figures released by the Australian Physiotherapy Association show that most Australian states equivalent schemes and insurance companies fully cover victims of road trauma above market value.

“Physiotherapists want to be able to treat TAC clients, but the Napthine Government is failing to provide the required cost for victims of road trauma to receive treatment,” Mr Donnellan said.

Consultation cost in rooms, one area Standard Consultation 2012/13

VIC – Transport Accident Commission $48.50
QLD – Motor Accident Insurance Commission $70.59
NSW – Motor Accidents Authority $69.36
ACT – ACT Department of Treasury $78.68
NT – Territory Insurance Office $75.00
WA – Insurance Commission of W.A $60.55
SA – Motor Accident Commission $60.20
TAS – Motor Accident Insurance Board $61.50

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