COVID-positive New South Wales residents have been urged not to delay treatment due to concerns about ambulance fees, as the state waives ambulance fees.
NSW residents who call out an ambulance are usually charged a call-out fee of $407, plus an additional charge of $3.67 per kilometre travelled, with a maximum charge of $6,668.
These fees were only waived for people who hold a pensioner concession, health care or Commonwealth seniors health care card, while those who have a Gold or White Card. Sexual assault, domestic violence or child abuse victims were also exempt.
Outside of this, the only other way to avoid paying a call-out fee was if the injury was covered by workers’ compensation, or if they had private health coverage.
However, call-outs for positive COVID-19 cases are now also free of charge, NSW Health confirmed to Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.
“If you have COVID-19, and you feel breathless, you have trouble reading, and you are feeling dizzy, you need to call an ambulance,” Nepean Hospital lung specialist Dr Lucy Morgan said on Wednesday.
“An ambulance is free, your medical care will be free, there will be people who can care for you even if English is not your first language.”
COVID-19 tests and vaccinations are also free of charge, along with GP consultations to discuss vaccination options.
“If your vaccination provider charges for any costs associated with the administration of the COVID-19 vaccination (including booking fees), you should contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org,” the Department of Health said.