Patient travel costs examined

The P.E.I. legislature's standing committee on health has agreed to look into how much and in what circumstances Islanders are spending money on health-related travel costs.
A mechanism needs to be in place so that people who need to travel for medical care have the resources to do it, says Richard Brown. (CBC)

The P.E.I. legislature's standing committee on health has agreed to look into how much and in what circumstances Islanders are spending money on health-related travel costs.

Last year Islanders travelled to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia nearly 10,000 times for medical appointments. That number has risen 12 per cent since 2009 and is expected to be even higher this year.

"Health care in Canada is a provided service by the governments, we've agreed that health care will be paid for by the governments and paid for by taxpayers," said committee member and Liberal MLA Richard Brown.

"I want to make sure that we have a mechanism in place that we don't leave people that require assistance."

Brown plans to table Nova Scotia's policy for reimbursing residents for some health-related travel expenses. The standing committee will also ask Health PEI for detailed information on how often Islanders leave the province for medical care, and for what reasons.

Another member of the committee, independent PC MLA Olive Crane, said she hopes for public hearings so Islanders can provide their input on the issue.

For mobile device users:What should P.E.I. do about the rising cost of health-related travel for Islanders?

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