The National Travel Assistance Scheme (NTA Scheme) provides financial assistance for travel and accommodation to people who need to travel a long distance or very frequently to attend specialist hospital treatment.
Improving the NTA Scheme provides a real opportunity for the health and disability sector to think about how reducing travel and accommodation costs, as barriers to access, could contribute to a better experience of the system for patients and more equitable health outcomes across the New Zealand population.
Travel assistance can directly benefit a patient’s health outcomes by helping them to attend appointments. It is also of value to the health and disability system if it enables a positive treatment outcome and, by treating the patient earlier, prevents the costs associated with complications and hospital inpatient stays.
This report outlines the findings of the review of the NTA Scheme and makes recommendations for how to improve it.