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Four women in NSW Health uniforms standing in front of a colourfully painted wall

Port Macquarie IPTAAS office staff Alison Moon, Justine Byrne, Renee Hamers and office coordinator Samantha Piper.

IPTAAS help is ‘lifechanging’ for pensioner

Nov 10, 2022

A Coffs Harbour pensioner has described changes to the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) as ‘lifechanging’.

Seventy-three-year-old Michael, who travels to Sydney every two months for specialist eye treatment, is now entitled to almost double the financial assistance he was previously receiving.

When the team at Port Macquarie’s IPTAAS office told Michael reimbursement amounts for travel and accommodation had increased from 1 August, he wasn’t sure how much more he would receive.

“I thought it might be an extra 20 bucks or so, which makes a big difference when you’re on the pension and every cent counts.

“Well, you could have blown me over when I saw it was almost double what I was getting back before. I thought it must have been a mistake.”

Port Macquarie’s IPTAAS office coordinator Samantha Piper said the team has loved sharing the exciting news with clients since the $149.5 million expansion of the scheme was announced in the June State Budget.

“There’s no greater satisfaction than knowing that through your team’s efforts you’re helping people access support they otherwise may not have pursued.  When patients visit our office and you see the relief and gratitude on their faces, it’s really wonderful.”

IPTAAS supports people living in rural, regional and remote NSW to access health services and treatment not available locally.

The recent changes include expanding the services eligible for IPTAAS to make the scheme available to more people and increased subsidies for patients. The new services eligible for IPTAAS include high risk foot services, publicly funded specialised dental health clinics, ocularists and non-commercial clinical trials.

For more information see the IPTAAS FAQ or visit the IPTAAS website.

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