The province will now pay travel and accommodation expenses for a parent or escort to accompany a child who must travel out of province to receive necessary medical care not available here.
Gary Ramey, ministerial assistant to Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald, announced today, May 20, plans to expand the province's Travel and Accommodations Assistance Policy to include increased support for families. The policy provides financial assistance to children and their families who have been approved for insured out-of-province medical care.
"When your child or loved one is sick, there is nothing more important than being by their side," said Mr. Ramey. "Today's announcement will allow families to focus on the treatment and recovery of their loved one without the burden of worrying about travel and accommodation expenses."
Under the policy, transportation and accommodation costs will be covered for a parent or caregiver to accompany a child, 18 years of age or younger, who has been approved for out-of-province medical care. Transportation costs will also be covered for an escort for any patient, including those older than 18, if it is medically necessary.
The Department of Health and Wellness provides a maximum of $1,000 per round trip, to a maximum of 12 trips a year, to assist with travel costs for approved clients. The department will also assist with accommodation costs.
"This is a miracle," said Shannon Price, mother of a Bridgewater child in need of brain surgery. "This financial support will allow me and my family to totally focus on my daughter's needs, without the worry of how we are going to pay the bills. I'm also very happy that more families will benefit because of this."
To qualify, patients must be pre-approved for an insured medical service that is not available in Nova Scotia. An example would be a lung transplant.
The new policy takes effect June 1.