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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 303 ..

Helicopter transportation

(Question No 22)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

In relation to helicopter transportation from the snowfields to The Canberra Hospital:

(1) Who pays for the cost of this travel-patient or taxpayer

(2) If the patient, what is the situation if the patient or the patient's insurance (a) cannot meet these costs or (b) will not meet these costs;

(3) If the taxpayer, why so.

Mr Quinlan: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

As the Minister for Police, Emergency Services, and Corrections, and having responsibility for the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Helicopter, the answer to the Member's question is as follows

(1) Transportation of ill or injured persons from the snowfields is a NSW Health or Ambulance Service of NSW generated case. Under the government to government agreement between NSW and ACT, I understand that SouthCare is paid for providing such services. It should also be noted that 90% of SouthCare's funding is provided by the NSW government.

(2) Given that such cases are generated by a NSW authority, cost recovery then becomes a matter for the NSW Government, Ambulance Service of NSW, and the patient to resolve. Whether the patient pays is then based on whether or not the patient is insured and the circumstances of the request for transport.

(3) As with many other government provided emergency and health services taxpayer funding represents a component of provision of such services. The Snowy Hydro SouthCare helicopter provides a method of expeditious transport from the snowfields to a hospital capable of providing a greater level of care.

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