Regional and Rural Information forums - We want your feedback!

Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 902
edited July 2023 in Community news and events
The below post was recently added to the private group Living in Regional, Rural and Remote areas . If you are not a member of this group and live rural, regional or remote, please consider joining. (Refer to the Monash Modified Model (MMM) that classifies locations according to geographical remoteness via the link

Hi Members,

BCNA will be delivering information forums to regional, rural and remote communities, more details on the locations and dates will be shared soon. 

Traditionally these have been delivered as full day events from 9.30-3.00. We acknowledge the current cost of living crisis, work and personal commitments might make it challenging for people to attend a whole day event. So we are hoping to get a better understanding on preferred timings from our members. If you could please take the time to complete this short survey to help with the planning of the upcoming forums.


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,677
    my reply Copied across from the Regional/rural page ... 

    Will there be questions & answers given out earlier?  If someone isn't available on the day to watch, will it be recorded? ..... they could watch it later, knowing that they could contribute their answers/questions earlier, to be included in the discussion?

    Will there be an 'agenda' of topics that will be discussed? 

    I've had some discussions wth Can Assist 2 years ago & we both raised some very valid 'bumps' in the current IPTAAS setup .... 
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,864
    edited July 2023
    For those who are unsure, the IPTAAS is the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme.

    Each State has their own assessment criteria and they are not equal !  For example, NSW appears to be far more generous than Victoria as to the kilometre requirements.

    Whilst I did not print them out and study them I did notice that patients on clinical trials are not able to claim.  There was a comment on one re a person's location when treatment began.  I
    t is well worth looking at the finer details on your State's website as situations vary.
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,677
    I believe Vic patients need to travel 100k+ per trip or 500k in a week to qualify - that seems excessive.  It is 200k/week in NSW, or any individual trip that is in excess of 100k.  In Qld, it is 50k!

    Here is an updated PDF on the different PATS schemes around Australia as at July 2023, the last 2 pages have links to each state's travel scheme:

    Here are the IPTAAS (NSW) guidelines for claiming


    Here are Some areas that I believe need to be looked at in ALL STATES (and advocated for):

    1) ALL family members on the one Medicare Card should be 'assessable' for the Mileage 'limit' ..... Currently in NSW, the 200k 'limit' per week (or 100k+ per trip before you can claim) is per PERSON ..... whereas multiple other trips made by other family members within the same time frame for treatment/appointments aren't allowed to be included in the 200k - but if added to the other family member's treatment travels, it is more than likely to make up the 200k+.   
    This happened numerous times to my husband & I for our different appointments.

    2) The Specialists referrals from the GP for Cancer patients in particular (or anyone with a non curable disease) should be for the length of the disease - either the patient gets better and they stop seeing the specialist or they pass away.  Currently, you need to get another referral every 2 years (it used to be yearly.) It is just another unnecessary thing that needs doing ....

    3) ALL specialist trips should be 'countable' ....  Earlier this year, NSW Health indicated that the 200k/week needs to only be for the ONE practitioner/medical service, not 2 or more different specialists on different days, even if it is for the one person (See item 1.)   Regional, rural and remote patients with chronic and/or terminal conditions often have to see more than one specialist for different conditions in the same week, in different destinations ..... yet this indicates you will NOT be reimbursed for other outings, just the one! 

    4) Attending Clinical Trials is not covered at all!!

    5) Apparently Dental Treatment/surgery (essential prior to some types of chemo) is also not covered - unless it is done in a hospital under anaesthetic (which just puts MORE stress on our already overloaded hospital systems.)   

    treatment that is essential for the patient 'post diagnosis' and requires travel outside of the home address should be covered so long as it falls within that 'km limit'.

  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,373
    It's a shame that anyone who is still working is excluded from these discussions. Thus it has ever been, and you wonder why you get such a narrow demographic involved. Guess it's easier for the staff.
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,864
    I did the survey and my page only had 2 questions - one about being in person or online and the other about three suggested times.  It did not mention days of the week.  I think they have been on weekends in the past to try to enable as many people to attend as possible, whether working or not.  Unfortunately they will always miss out on some members as some work on weekends as well.
    Maybe I am wrong ?
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,677
    As with most of the webcasts presented by BCNA, questions can usually be put forward earlier if a person is unable to attend on the day and the session is recorded.  The video is then made available to all members shortly after, so anyone who is not able to attend on the day is still able to have valuable input into the webcast - and then hear any discussion regarding their input.

    It wouldn't be logical to hold the 'forum' in the city as the cost of travel & accommodation would not be practical.  Also, as our regional/rural members are spread all around the country, it would be difficult to choose one particular spot to get the most number of actual members/attendees to gather - so I am guessing that having it online would be the best way of reaching more members 'on that particular day'.

    I look forward to seeing what the agenda is.
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,677
    Sonia Henry (remote Dr in Broome, WA) interviewed on Channel 7 re the lack of health access and worse outcomes for regional/rural patients ....

    another youtube video
  • siobhan_bcna
    siobhan_bcna Administrator, Staff, Member Posts: 6

    Hi All,

    Apologies I am playing catch up to respond to all of your comments  

    1.  Yes there was only 2 questions and I acknowledge that there was not an option for preferred day and have taken this feedback on for consideration of future surveys.
    2. The forums are being delivered as part of a project with a focus on regional and rural communities so they will definitely not be held in metro locations. The intention of the project is to have information forums in different states and territories, so far they have been in Ballarat (VIC), Launceston (TAS), Rockhampton (QLD), Port Lincoln (SA), Warrnambool (VIC), Darwin (NT), Karratha (WA) and Bunbury (WA). The locations are decided based on a number of factors including identifying locations where an information forum had not been held previously, mapping potential locations to Modified Monash Model (MMM) classification of rurality/remoteness of locations and number of BCNA members connected to the potential locations. However we understand that this means the forums are providing information to certain communities and try to support extending the provision of this information by recording and making it available online as well as delivering webcast on specific topics.
    3. The intention of the survey was to provide an opportunity for discussion from all circumstances, those working or not, so their preferences can be included to support the planning of the forums
    4. There will be a program for the topics to be covered in the information forum and these will be based on the insights that are gathered from the local community and surrounding areas ahead of time

    Hope this helps to answer some of your queries