NAPTHINE’S AMBULANCE FEE HIKE HURTS CLAYTON ELECTORATE PENSIONERS

Posted on 18. Sep, 2014 in Clayton Update

Pensioners in the Clayton electorate may be hit with thousand dollar ambulance bills under the Napthine Government.
Previously, the Victorian Government provided pensioners and health care card holders with free non-emergency ambulance patient transport in clinically necessary cases.
Under the changes, pensioners who don’t have ambulance cover will have to foot the bill for transfer from private facilities.
Health Department guidelines show that free transport for pensioners does not apply where:

• the individual is being transported from a private healthcare facility
• the individual initiates a transport from one hospital to another hospital of their own choice, for example to receive care from a preferred physician or at a preferred location
(Source: Patient transport charging guidelines for Victoria. Effective 1 July 2014)
Denis Napthine and David Davis quietly introduced these fee changes without warning, at the start of July.
These changes could result in pensioners receiving bills for possibly thousands of dollars. They may also add pressure to our public hospitals if pensioners decide to avoid treatment at private facilities.
Quotes attributable to Hong Lim
“Starting a war with our hardworking paramedics wasn’t enough for Denis Napthine – now he’s taking on our pensioners.”
“Under the Liberals, those who can afford it the least always end up paying the most.”
“Seniors in my community have worked hard all their lives – Denis Napthine should keep away from their wallets.”
Key Facts
• From 1 July 2014, pensioners will no longer receive free transport when they are taken from a private healthcare facility, or when they are “initiating a transport” from one hospital to another hospital at their own choice.
• The definition of “clinically necessary” transport is available at http://www.health.vic.gov.au/ambulance/nept/
• Labor is aware of some healthcare facilities requiring pensioners to sign a document saying non-emergency transport is no longer covered by Ambulance Victoria and they will be sent a bill if transport is required.

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