Pensioners in Narre Warren South may soon be hit with thousand dollar ambulance bills under the Napthine Government.

Previously, the Victorian Government provided pensioners and health care card holders with free non-emergency ambulance patient transport in clinically necessary cases.

Under the Napthine Government’s changes, pensioners who don’t have ambulance cover will have to foot the bill for transfer from private facilities.

Health Department guidelines show that free transport for pensioners does not apply where:

  • the individual is being transported from a private healthcare facility
  • the individual  initiates a transport from one hospital to another hospital of their own choice, for example to receive care from a preferred physician or at a preferred location

(Source: Patient transport charging guidelines for Victoria. Effective 1 July 2014)

Denis Napthine and David Davis quietly introduced these fee changes without warning, at the start of July.

Ms Graley said that these changes would not only further disadvantage our pensioners but place further pressure on our already struggling hospitals.

“Seniors who have worked hard all their lives shouldn’t now have to worry about whether or not they can take the risk of using a private facility,”

“They shouldn’t have to worry about being hit with a thousand dollar ambulance bill when they are already struggling to deal with the rising cost of living and looking after themselves,”

“Our pensioners deserves better, they don’t deserve to be forced to pay more by an uncaring and callous Liberal Government.”

Dot O’Neill, a Narre Warren South pensioner said the changes would hurt those most in need of help.

“It is the pensioners who are already struggling to make ends meet, those who already must deal with significant medical bills who will be worse off under these changes,”

“Not to mention those who are unable to drive, don`t have access to private transportation or have no family or friends to help them,” 

“It’s an added worry and stress that pensioners simply don`t need.”

Key Facts

  • From 1 July 2014, pensioners will no longer receive free transport when they are taken from a private healthcare facility, or when they are “initiating a transport” from one hospital to another hospital at their own choice.
  • Labor is aware of some healthcare facilities requiring pensioners to sign a document saying non-emergency transport is no longer covered by Ambulance Victoria and they will be sent a bill if transport is required.