Health Department ready to fund travel costs

There is money available now for some Prince Edward Islanders who are travelling out of province for medical appointments, says Health Minister Doug Currie.

Medical travel costs program was announced in P.E.I. budget

There is money available now for some Prince Edward Islanders who are travelling out of province for medical appointments, says Health Minister Doug Currie.

Health Minister Doug Currie says his department is ready to start looking at applications for reimbursement of health care travel costs. (CBC)

Finance Minister Wes Sheridan announced in this year's budget that an agreement would be put in place with Maritime Bus for Islanders travelling to medical appointments. That program isn't operating yet, but Currie said his department is ready now to evaluate individuals on a case-by-case basis for possible travel expense reimbursement.

The patient would be compensated around the cost of a round-trip ticket on Maritime Bus to the city where the medical service is being provided.

"There's Islanders that are travelling today that meet a level of criteria that is in line with what we're looking at," said Currie.

"I'm very comfortable looking at those requests, even though the program is not formally announced."

Currie cautioned, however, that not everyone will be able to take advantage of the program. It will be income tested.

Government says it's budgeted $50,000 for the program with Maritime Bus.

Last year 6,700 Islanders had to travel off-Island for medical services, at a cost to the province of $45 million.

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