WHITEHORSE – Last year, the Official Opposition asked the Minister of Health and Social Services to increase the medical travel reimbursement rates so that they were more comparable to Government of Yukon travel rates for employees. At the time the government rate was double the amount per kilometer that is provided to Yukon patients on medical travel.
In response to these requests the Minister refused, suggesting they could not afford to increase medical travel rates.
However, since that time they have found money to increase the government travel rates even further. Meanwhile they have brought forward legislation to give the Premier a raise.
“Many Yukoners need to drive from their communities for essential medical appointments. With the price of fuel on the rise and the impending carbon tax, this can quickly become an even greater financial burden on Yukoners living in communities,” stated Patti McLeod, Official Opposition Health Critic. “It’s disappointing to see that the Liberals are not taking the concerns of rural Yukoners in need of medical care seriously.”
The increase to the government travel rate and the Premier’s raise comes after the Liberal Cabinet has instructed all departments, including Health, to find cuts in their operations and maintenance budgets.
- The current rate of reimbursement for patients to travel for medical purposes is 30 cents per kilometer. (http://www.gov.yk.ca/legislation/regs/oic1995_116.pdf)
- Effective April 1, 2018, the Government of Yukon reimbursement rate was raised from 60.5 cents a kilometer to 62 cents a kilometer despite the Liberal government’s claims they can’t find money to increase the medical rate. (http://www.finance.gov.yk.ca/pdf/Travel_Rates_April_2018.pdf)