State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall has today committed to increasing annual funding to the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS) by at least $1 million per year from 2014-15.
The State Liberals would release the exact funding increase during the election campaign when final costing details have been completed.
“The State Liberals understand that this is an important issue and our regional MPs and candidates have been strong advocates on behalf of regional South Australians on this issue,” said Mr Marshall.
“This has been of particular significance in Mount Gambier where Liberal candidate for Mount Gambier, Troy Bell, has collected the signatures of more than 2,000 people calling for an increase in funding for PATS.
“Premier Weatherill and Minister Snelling are out of touch on this critical issue, with Minister Snelling consistently ruling out providing any additional funding for PATS.”
On 19 April 2013, Mr Snelling told ABC radio:
“The position [of] the Government… is that we don’t have any money to put into increasing it… there isn’t any extra funding to put into any areas of the health budget.”
“The Weatherill Labor Government conducted a review of PATS in 2013 but the results of the review have still not been released,” said Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas.
“However, the review has been severely restricted by the Weatherill Labor Government’s terms of reference which prevented any recommendation on the critical issue of funding.
“The State Liberals will consider any recommendations of the review before making any final decisions about implementing a new scheme with significantly increased funding.
“A Marshall Liberal Government will have better priorities to put our State back on track.”