The Department of Health and Community Services announced on January 10, 2012 that it had made improvements to the medical transportation program, which impacts the lives of many, especially rural Newfoundlanders and Labradorians
The release states:
`To help ease the financial burden of paying upfront for travel for medical services, effective January 1, 2012, eligible residents booking commercial air travel for specialized insured medical services will now have 50 per cent of economy airfare prepaid prior to travel. Before this change, eligible individuals had to absorb the full cost of airfare initially and be reimbursed afterwards with the portion covered by the Medical Transportation Assistance Program.`
The full release can be found at: http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2012/health/0110n01.htm
Improvements must continue to ensure that specialized medical services are truly available to all and not just those that are able to afford it. Further increases to upfront payment for travel may be warranted as not all can afford to pay for 50% of an economy commercial flight. For example, my last Provincial Airlines flight from St. Anthony to St. Johns, a mere 1 hour flight was over $800.00. A low income earner having to come up with $400+ is a still a heavy financial burden to bear.
Let us work together to find co-operative solutions as we live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador.
Experience the Great Northern Peninsula –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
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