Some Nova Scotians who need to go to other parts of the province for surgery will soon have support for travel and accommodation.
A new pilot program will reduce out-of-pocket costs for eligible, lower-income patients who have to travel within the province for scheduled surgery, or endoscopy or cystoscopy procedures, including for the day of their surgery/procedure and some related appointments. It may also help some patients get their surgery or procedure more quickly if they can 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 pilot program will begin Thursday, June 1, and run for one year. It will provide reimbursement for:
- transportation costs at $0.57 per kilometer when using personal vehicles
- accommodation costs of up to $85 per night if traveling more than 50 kilometers (one-way)
- transportation/accommodation costs for someone to travel with the patient if necessary.
To be eligible for the program, Nova Scotians must:
- 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
- do not have private insurance that covers travel or accommodation costs.
People can apply at: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/in-province-travel-assistance-pilot-program.asp
Providing the care Nova Scotians need and deserve is a key solution in Action for Health, the government’s plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia.
The need to travel for pre-surgical care and surgery can add to what is already a stressful situation for some patients. By helping with travel costs, this program will take away some of these worries, so patients can focus on their surgery and recovery.
Dr. Greg Hirsch, cardiac surgeon and Senior Medical Director, Nova Scotia Health Perioperative (Surgical) Services Network
- 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