Country people urged to share their healthcare stories

Filed in Just In by December 3, 2020

STORIES of country people across New South Wales accessing health care in the city, need to be heard by people planning health care, urges Roy Butler MP.

“We want people to share their stories to help a Parliamentary enquiry plan how they can do things better,” said Mr Butler.

“It’s a once in a decade opportunity that people can have direct input,” he said.

“We don’t want people being scared off by the word “submission”, we want people to just tell their story of what happened to you, how long you had to take off work, the costs you incur, the things that country people need to do, a lot of people in the city just don’t understand and this is our chance to explain.

“We know some people struggle with technology and so if you contact my office, we’d be glad to help get your story to them.

Roy Butler said he has heard many stories from people in regional New South Wales highlighting simple things that need to change.

“One example was a person had used their Medicare for their appointment, but needed another appointment, but they were told they had to come back the next day because they could only process one Medicare claim per day and when it is a 500 kilometre round trip it’s not feasible so then there are accommodation expenses and more time away from your job or your farm,” he said.

“There are simple things we could look at changing in the system that could really help country people if we are able to identify them and raise them now for this review.

“IPTAAS (Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme) has not changed in years, so we need that to keep pace with inflation and the real costs being incurred.

“The income levels of people in the country are lower compared to the city, but we have far more expense travelling to get health care, staying in accommodation and juggling work and family.

“I know I have done it myself, where I think I don’t have the time for that specialists appointment and my referral slips to the bottom of my pile, there is not just the time, there is the money.

“For farmers they have to consider animal welfare and who will run the farm if they have to go away and the expenses of that.

“So if country people can tell their stories, it can help the people in the cities understand the time and the costs for us and we can identify ways that we can help, such as being able to process a Medicare card twice on the same day,” urged Roy Butler MP.

Click here to: Share you story by Sunday, December 13, 2020.


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