Cancer Council NSW Welcomes Announcement of IPTAAS Overhaul for Country Patients

Media Release

10 February 2012: Cancer Council NSW and other health organisations have welcomed a decision by the Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner that will see an overhaul to the complex administration system of the current Isolated Patient and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS)

Thousands of cancer patients travel long distances for treatment with a lot of patients struggling to reclaim the costs of their transport and accommodation subsidies due to the complexities of the current system.

Cancer Council NSW, CEO Dr Andrew Penman, said that the complexities of the system meant patients living in many regional areas previously’ had difficulty accessing the vital financial help they needed, which saw many patients continuing to struggle financially even after last years announcement of an increase to the scheme,

“Cancer Council NSW is delighted to see the introduction of an overhaul to the current complex administration system. Last years announcement from IPTAAS saw a win for rural patients with an increase of transport and accommodation subsides, but many patients were still struggling to reclaim these benefits.

“Cancer Council NSW has long called for the IPTAAS administration process to be simplified and the introduction of the new online claiming system and other key improvements will enable patients to more easily access the financial help they need meaning no patients should be out of pocket or have to forego vital cancer treatment.

“With this announcement we would encourage all cancer patients to watch out for these changes which will see easier access to health care so that stress is minimised for both patient and their support networks.”

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Media contact:Gina Murphy, Cancer Council NSW, 02-9334 1428

Notes to editors

Key improvements to the IPTAAS include

-             A new online claiming system, where patients can complete and claim their subsidy online;

-             A simpler shorter application form;

-             A “˜one-off’ recording of claimant details, to avoid unnecessary paperwork;

-             The ability for patients to monitor the progress of their claims online; and

-             The ability for patients to change their personal details (ie: bank details)