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  • October 27, 2017

Ontario Increasing Grant for Easier Travel Related to Medical Care

More Support for Northern Ontario Patients Requiring Travel

NEWS

October 27th, 2017

The province is helping people in Northern Ontario access the health care they need by providing more funding for patients who travel for treatment. Starting November 1, Ontario is boosting funding for patients who travel for eligible health care procedures. As part of the Northern Health Travel Grant, coverage for lodging expenses will increase from $100 to up to $550, based on the length of the trip.

 The NHTG Program helps defray the travel costs incurred by Northern Ontario residents to access medical specialist health care services, or ministry funded health care facility-based procedures. (E.g. hospital for CAT scan) The NHTG Program is intended to offset regional disadvantages stemming from the shortage of medical specialists and health care facilities in Northern Ontario relative to other regions of the province. This is an important element in the delivery of equitable health care services to Northern Ontario residents.

 Over the last three fiscal years, (2014-15 to 2016-17) the program has helped an average of 206,427 applicants per year access medical specialist services or health facility-based procedures.  Over the same period, the average cost per travel grant was $245. The program consistently meets its established service standard for the program of 95% of properly-completed applications to be processed and a cheque issued within 30 business days.

QUOTES

 “Improving access to health care for northern residents is a priority for our government. By increasing funding for the Northern Health Travel Grant, we are making sure patient needs come first – no matter where they live."

- Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

 "I’m pleased with the Province’s continued commitment to improving access to health care for people living in Northwestern Ontario. There are unique challenges to address when delivering services to a large geographic area with a smaller population. Today’s announcement is another step towards ensuring that patients can get the care they need in an affordable and timely manner.”

— Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“Accessing quality healthcare is essential to people living in Northwestern Ontario. 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

QUICK FACTS

  • On April 27, 2017 as part of the Ontario Provincial Budget announcement, the government committed to: “Expanding the Northern Health Travel Grant (NHTG) Program by $10M to bolster accommodation grant; thus increasing the program budget from $44.1M to $54.1M.”
  • Patients living in the north will be reimbursed for eligible trips 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.
    • Specifically, for patients whose medical specialist services or ministry funded health care facility-based procedures are provided on or after November 1, 2017, additional accommodation allowance per treatment trip is:
      • $100 per lodging night up to 2 lodging nights
      • $250 for 3 lodging nights
      • $500 for 4-7 lodging nights
      • $550 for 8 or more lodging nights.

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