Community News

Boost to subsidies for cancer patients staying in not-for-profit accommodation welcome

Increased subsidies for patients undergoing cancer or other medical treatment who chose to stay in not-for-profit accommodation has been welcomed by Clarence MP and Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast, Chris Gulaptis. Mr Gulaptis said the NSW Government’s commitment to boost Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) rebates will mean that from February next year, eligible patients will receive increased subsidies for longer stays in not-for-profit accommodation facilities. “I am pleased the Government has listened to the concerns of not-for-profit providers who were worried that recent increases in IPTAAS subsidies to commercial accommodation providers under would impact on their ability to remain viable. “This is a positive outcome and means not-for-profit providers such as Our House in Lismore and Shearwater Lodge at Coffs Harbour can continue to operate without patients being largely out of pocket. “This is in recognition of the fact that not-for-profit accommodation providers support patients through their treatment program in a home-like environment, often over long periods of time,” Mr Gulaptis said. The increased subsidy rate for patients staying in not-for-profit accommodation will increase to $65 a night for single rooms and $85 a night for double rooms for stays of eight nights or more per financial year. This represents an increase of more than 40 per cent to the existing not-for-profit accommodation subsidies – and a $2.7 million investment per year by the NSW Government. The subsidy for the first seven nights in not-for-profit facilities will remain at $43 for a single room and $60 per night for a double room – the same subsidy available at commercial facilities for shorter stays. IPTAAS subsidies are available to patients who live in regional areas and travel at least 100km one way, or a cumulative weekly distance of at least 200km.