Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

December 3, 2020

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has sought answers from the State Government in relation to the closure of counter service at the Kingaroy Hospital Patient Travel Subsidy office.

Mrs Frecklington said she had received complaints from patients who have recently attended the Patient Travel office to submit their forms, only to find it shut.

“The closure of the counter service for Patient Travel applications is unacceptable,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“We all know how important the Patient Travel Subsidy is for rural and regional people and it is obvious this Labor Government has no idea why a counter service must remain available.

“What we now have is a box where people can submit their forms.

“So, if there is any information missing on the forms or an error, instead of being picked up then and there by a staff member, the forms will need to be posted back to the patient and then returned again.

“All this wastes time and means further delays in receiving their travel and accommodation subsidies.

“Many times people have told me that the Patient Travel paperwork is often more stressful than their actual treatment, which really is saying something.

“This loss of service will mean even more unnecessary stress and that is why I have submitted a Question on Notice this week in Parliament seeking answers about why this service has been cut.”

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Footnote: On October 9 this year, southburnett.com.au contacted Darling Downs Health asking if this was a permanent change after being approached by a reader who wrote to us:

“The locked box which could easily be carried away….. this box full of personal details. The face-to-face service was excellent and meant that the patient travel officer could check the form and advise if further info was required…. the closure of the face-to-face service now means that if there is any discrepancy or more info required the said patient will need to be contacted via other means…My husband is on chemo for bowel cancer… and required to be in Toowoomba three days a fortnight…. the Patient Travel service in Toowoomba Hospital appears to be open although could not be sure…the closure of the face-to-face service in Kingaroy would affect a large part of the SB community….. “

We received no response from Darling Downs Health to our initial query, and followed it up with a repeated query on November 30.

A spokesperson told us on Thursday our emails had not been received due to a technical issue. We have now forwarded another request for clarification.


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2 Responses to "MP Queries Travel Subsidy Change"

  1. Anon  December 3, 2020

    I think you will find the same happens at Wondai – the forms just need to be left in box, no verbal communication.

    Reply
  2. Just Made A Claim  December 4, 2020

    I believe the DDHHS plans to locate the Officer responsible for Travel Subsidy on the fourth floor of a building some distance from the Hospital. Perhaps someone could also examine the difficult route Seniors and those in ill-health requiring Travel Subsidy will have to negotiate from the new parking area to get to “THE BOX” with their claims. I hope this can be quickly resolved.

    Reply

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