Highlands and Islands Regional MSP Rhoda Grant has submitted a written question on NHS Patient Travel Reimbursement Scheme and is calling on the Scottish Government to prioritise its review and to stop “dragging their feet”.
This comes after the Scottish Government revealed to her that the NHS Patient Travel Reimbursement Scheme was going to be reviewed but that review was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, there was no indication of when the review will begin.
The regional MSP has added pressure by submitting a Parliamentary Written Question in the hope to gain some clarity on the review time scales.
Rhoda Grant said:
“In a cost-of-living crisis, I fear that patients in need of healthcare will not be able to afford the travel expenses at the current out-of-date rate.
“Hotels prices in Inverness at this time of year are shocking and petrol prices are through the roof.
“The elderly, working poor and those on benefits will be sacrificing their health to keep costs down – which is heartbreaking.
“Services have been centralised to Inverness and elsewhere but the Scottish Government have been dragging their feet when it comes to this review.
“It desperately needs to become a priority.”
The Scottish Government set overall guidance on Patient Travel Reimbursement however disbursements are made by health boards in accordance with their own eligibility policies.