It’s not just the cost of travelling to access health care which is an impediment to rural and remote patients; it’s also the logistical issues they face.
A recent survey conducted by the Chronic Illness Alliance (CIA) suggested that parking is a major problem for country patients accessing health care in the city. Not only is it expensive, it can also be difficult to actually find a spot within reasonable proximity of a hospital. Most hospitals are in the CBD. Street parking is rarely available and fines are imposed by local councils.
Many rural patients travelling to the city are quite ill. Expecting them to navigate the public transport system or pay for taxis in order to keep their appointments only adds to the burden of their illness.
Rural and remote patients needing to travel to the city for treatment not only have to contend with their illness. Often they must also contend with long travel times, finding suitable accommodation, arranging for child minding, care of stock, time off work etc. The issue of reasonably priced, convenient parking space, preferably located at reasonably priced, convenient accommodation is an important element of assisting rural and remote patient travel.