For some patients, travel to receive healthcare can present difficulties.
For some patients, travel to receive healthcare can present difficulties – the journey may be lengthy or complex, costly, or there may be poor access to public transport.
HTCS is set up to provide financial assistance to those patients who require assistance with their travel costs. Under the scheme, patients on low incomes or receiving specific qualifying benefits or allowances are reimbursed in full, or in part, for costs incurred in travelling to receive NHS services provided in a hospital.
In addition to the extension of HTCS, the Welsh Government has today also announced plans for a pilot to explore the benefits of providing overnight accommodation for patients who would be eligible to travel by non-emergency patient transport for regular periods of treatment.Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said:
“I’m pleased we’ve been able to extend the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme.
“Patients on benefits or low incomes can find it difficult to meet the cost of travelling to hospital for treatments or diagnostic tests. This can widen health inequalities and potentially have longer term consequences for the health and well-being of the patient.
“Eligible patients can now receive support for a journey made to attend a hospital for any service following referral by a GP or dentist. These changes will be of particular benefit for patients living in rural and remote communities – especially if they have to travel regularly over a long distance to receive the treatment they need.
“Today’s announcement will make a real difference for patients, helping to ensure financial barriers don’t prevent people accessing medical appointments they need.”