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New pilot program to help with costs for lower-income Nova Scotians travelling for surgery

By Caitlin Snow May 25, 2023 | 10:40 AM

ophthalmology muh

The province is introducing a new pilot program to help cover transportation costs if you have a lower income and need to travel within the province, for surgery.  It includes scheduled surgery, endoscopy or cystoscopy procedures, including for the day of their surgery/procedure and some related appointments. It may even get you a surgery quicker if you’re able to travel to a site with a shorter wait time.

“Some surgeries and procedures mean Nova Scotians have to travel quite a distance from home and sometimes stay overnight to be closer to the hospital and those costs can add up,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This pilot program will ensure patients pay less for travel and accommodation to get the surgeries or procedures they need.”

The program will run for one year, starting Thursday, June 1.  It will provide reimbursement for:

— transportation costs at $0.57 per kilometre when using personal vehicles
— accommodation costs of up to $85 per night if travelling more than 50 kilometres (one-way)
— transportation/accommodation costs for someone to travel with the patient if necessary.

To be eligible:

— have a confirmed surgery or endoscopy/cystoscopy procedure date
— be on the Nova Scotia Health wait list for surgery, or an endoscopy or cystoscopy procedure
— be a resident of Nova Scotia with a valid health card
— have a gross family income of less than $35,000 per year
— not have private insurance that covers travel or accommodation costs.

Quick Facts:
— about 2,400 patients could be eligible for this pilot program, which is estimated to cost $946,000
— endoscopy procedures use an endoscope or thin tube to look inside the upper (throat, stomach) or lower (colon, bowel) gastrointestinal tract
— cystoscopy procedures examine or repair tissues inside the bladder using a cystoscope, a thin tube with a camera and light inserted through the urethra

To apply go to: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/in-province-travel-assistance-pilot-program.asp


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