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‘Will be free’: NSW waives $6,668 ambulance fees for COVID patients

NSW ambulance vehicle on the road.
COVID-19 patients whose symptoms worsen will not be charged ambulance fees. (Image: Getty).

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.

Source: NSW Ambulance.
Ambulance fees for NSW residents. Source: NSW Ambulance.

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.

NSW reached a terrifying new milestone on Wednesday, recording 919 new cases of community-transmitted COVID-19 on Wednesday, and one woman in her 30s has died at home after testing positive for the respiratory illness.

Seven of NSW’s 753 COVID-related deaths have now occurred at home, with health experts urging people to seek hospital support if their symptoms worsen.

“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.

Residents in southwest Sydney were charged $250 to receive the Pfizer vaccine in July, with the clinic later forced to refund the fees.

“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,” the Department of Health said.

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Image: Yahoo Finance
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