Ambulance fees in Tasmania will not be recovered from individuals with private health insurance, the state’s health minister has asserted.
Michelle O’Byrne commented that while the health department has put forward “a range” of budget management measures, recovery of ambulance usage costs from private insurance holders is not on the table for consideration.
“Recouping ambulance costs from people with private cover is not an option the government will proceed with,” she said in a June 25 statement.
Ms O’Byrne added that the government will instead look to “appropriate cost recovery” from a range of other sources.
Ambulance usage costs in Tasmania are currently recovered from patients who are covered through Workers Compensation, Veteran Affairs and the Motor Accidents Insurance Board, as well as some inestate patients.
While Tasmanian residents can access free ambulance service through Ambulance Tasmania, there are some exceptions. Workplace or motor vehicle accidents – where costs are covered by insurance arrangements – are considered by the organisation to be chargeable cases.
The service is offered through a network of 45 ambulance stations in urban, remote and rural areas and more than 500 volunteers work alongside salaried staff – including students-in-training, ambulance officers and trained paramedics.