PLEDGE:  LNP Candidate for Whitsunday Jason Costigan with Burdekin MP and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for North Queensland Rosemary Menkens outside the Proserpine Hospital on Tuesday.
PLEDGE: LNP Candidate for Whitsunday Jason Costigan with Burdekin MP and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for North Queensland Rosemary Menkens outside the Proserpine Hospital on Tuesday.

LNP promise patient travel subsidy

WHITSUNDAY residents stand to benefit from more affordable access to health services under an LNP pledge to double the current patient travel and accommodation subsidy.

LNP Candidate for Whitsunday Jason Costigan said the commitment by party leader Campbell Newman meant an extra $100 million over four years to assist patients with managing the financial burden and stress of travelling to access specialist health care.

"The LNP will double the travel subsidy from 15 cents per km to 30 cents per km, and double the accommodation subsidy from $30 to $60 per person for patients forced to travel for treatment and medical care," Mr Costigan said.

"Many people in Mackay and the Whitsundays have told me the current Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme is inadequate. Some patients are even deferring treatment because of the costs associated with travelling to metropolitan centres to get access to health services," he said.

Burdekin MP and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for North Queensland, Rosemary Menkens, who visited Proserpine on Tuesday, said the subsidy hadn't changed for more than a decade despite rising charges and an increased cost of living.

"The accommodation allowance has been fixed at $30 per person per night for well over a decade, resulting in an almost 50 per cent real cut in accommodation assistance. Patients who travel by car receive a paltry subsidy of just 15 cents per kilometre," she said.

Mr Costigan said after a decade of "Bligh Government inaction", the LNP reform to double the travel subsidy would provide peace of mind for people and families who are struggling with health issues like cancer.

"This is a wonderful helping hand," he said.

Meanwhile Whitsunday MP Jan Jarratt said the LNP leader Campbell Newman had refused to divulge how the campaign promise would be funded.

"$100 million is a lot of money to leave unanswered," Ms Jarratt said.


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