Patients who need to travel for medical needs in northern Ontario will now be eligible to receive more money for lodging expenses thanks to a boost in funding for the Northern Health Travel Grant program.
“Improving access to health care for northern residents is a priority for our government,” Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins said.
According to a written statement released on Thursday, starting Nov. 1 coverage for lodging expenses for patients living in the north will increase from $100 to up to $550, based on the length of their trip.
“By expanding the Northern Health Travel Grant lodging expense, the province is ensuring that patients can access high quality care that they need in a way that is affordable, efficient and effective,” Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North, said.
The Northern Health Travel Grant program assists over 200,000 people every year with travel costs incurred by patients who need to travel long distances for specialized medical care. In the 2017 budget, the government added an extra $10 million — increasing funding from $44.1 million to $54.1 million — to the program.
Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, said the “announcement is another step towards ensuring that patients can get the care they need in an affordable and timely manner.”
With more funding, patients will now be eligible to be reimbursed at a rate of $100 per night for up to two nights; $250 for three nights; $500 for four to seven nights and $550 for eight or more nights.