Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 4 Hansard (12 April) . .
ACT Health provides a range of supports to people of the ACT who have been diagnosed with cancer or other serious chronic conditions. The choice to seek diagnosis and treatments within the public/private or a combination of both will impact on the out of pocket expenses an individual will experience.
ACT Health provides medical, nursing and allied health services free of charge in the acute and community sector. This includes no cost to the individual for dressings, physiotherapy, nutrition, speech and occupational therapy. There is also free parking at hospitals and care close to home where appropriate.
The co-payment for medications affects patients with a variety of serious and chronic conditions, including but not limited to cancer, and is experienced across all jurisdictions in Australia.
As an outpatient or at a community pharmacy the fees charged for pharmaceuticals are in accordance with the standards set for all pharmaceuticals under the Pharmaceutical Scheme (PBS). The Commonwealth Government sets a price that they assess is fair for patients to contribute to pharmaceutical treatment and an overall cap for the year. The co-payment is currently set at $38.80 for a general patient and $6.30 for a concessional patient.
To ensure affordability, the PBS enacts a safety net. The safety net threshold is $378 for concession card holders and $1,494.90 for all other patients. After reaching the safety net threshold, general patients pay for further PBS prescriptions at the concessional co-payment rate, and concession card holders are dispensed PBS prescriptions at no further charge for the remainder of that calendar year.
Co-payments for chemotherapy contribute to the calculations of eligibility for the PBS Safety Net. After patients reach the Safety Net threshold, their co-payment contributions are reduced, meaning that a general patient moves to the concessional rate and those who start on the concessional rate do not have to make a co-payment.
ACT Government funds a range of non-government organisations and support groups that provide support to patients and their families and assist with financial aid, group support, information and experiences.
Mr Gentleman (in reply to a question by Mr Hanson on Thursday, 22 March 2018):
The Government has placed the release on hold to undertake further investigation into the issues raised by the community, particularly in relation to the potential parking impacts. The website has been updated to reflect this.
The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate will ensure that the community has an opportunity to provide input into further investigations and to comment on draft reports.
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