The Border Watch : November 6th 2013
NEWS TIPS email@example.com PATS payments dwindle Reimbursements fall short of budget allocation HIGH-PROFILE Family First Upper House MP Robert Brokenshire has called on the State Government to abandon any plans to cut eligibility to the Patient Assisted Transport Scheme (PATS) for South East residents. This follows a Freedom of Information search by Mr Brokenshire revealing in the 2012/13 financial year the scheme paid out less than the $7.7m allocated budget. PATS has become one of the region’s most urgent health funding concerns, with Member for Mount Gambier Don Pegler and Liberal candidate Troy Bell taking up the issue following concerns from regional residents. “Both the aggregate dollar value of patient claims in 2012/13 of $7.2m and the amounts approved for payment of $7.08m are below the $7.7m former minister John Hill told me would be the 2012/13 budget fi gure,” Mr Brokenshire said. He said the startling new fi gures showed the amount of money being paid to patients had been dwindling. “What these fi gures show us today is that the amount paid out per patient claim has dropped dramatically, from $215 a claim in 2008/09 to just $174 a claim in 2012/13,” Mr Brokenshire said. He said it showed Country Health SA had already operated under the diffi cult budget conditions by cutting patient eligibility per claim. “Of course, when you search Country Health SA annual reports there is no mention of a PATS budget, only what it paid out,” Mr Brokenshire said. “So we have to take the former minister at his word and hypothecate the PATS budget history based on his claim in January 2013.” He said Family First remained “very concerned” the language of the terms of reference to the PATS review remained only about cutting eligibility, not increasing the budget. “Compare that with the Northern Territory, which has less than half the number of PATS claims that we do, yet the NT Government contributed an additional $7.5m per annum to their scheme in their current budget,” Mr Brokenshire said. “That’s embarrassing when you consider that their increase equals the total level of our funding per annum and their total health budget is just $1.2b.” He said it was “absolutely disgusting” that the Labor Government had a four times larger health budget of more than $5b, but was forcing country people to fi ght hard to retain their existing $7.7m PATS budget. Mr Brokenshire said it comprised just 0.15pc of the total state health budget. Absolutely Anything Large range of fabulous Xmas gift ideas with really great prices come in and see us at Centro Hon John Dawkins MLC Liberal Spokesman for Suicide Prevention Please join me for a morning tea to thank all volunteers contributing to suicide prevention AND THEY’RE OFF: Melbourne Cup luncheon organiser Maxine Patzel joins sweep organisers Moira Oxley and Pat Jordan as festivities get underway at Woodlands Grove Retirement Village yesterday. Picture: BRETT KENNEDY Race day excitement sweeps retirement village BRETT KENNEDY WOODLANDS Grove Retirement Village was painted with a splash of Flemington yesterday afternoon as more than 100 residents celebrated Melbourne Cup day. The race that stops the nation created a buzz across the estate, with everything from colourful fascinators to the odd fl utter on Australia’s richest thoroughbred race putting spirits at a high. Luncheon organiser Maxine Patzel, who Disqualifi ed driver reported A MOUNT Gambier man has been caught allegedly driving while under the infl uence of illicit drugs. Police stopped the 25-year-old driver on Jubilee Highway East in Mount Gambier at about 7pm on Friday night. It is alleged the male driver was disqualifi ed and returned a positive drug swipe. He will be summonsed to appear in court at a later date. was helped by residents and staff, said the annual event provided a great opportunity for people to get together and socialise. Mrs Patzel said she was impressed with the efforts shown by residents to get into the cup day spirit, describing the response as “wonderful”. A fashions on the fi eld contest was held for both men and women, while several cup sweeps saw a few lucky winners walk away with slightly fuller pockets than when they arrived. The Melbourne Cup luncheon is just throughout the Limestone Coast Region. Wednesday 6 November 2013 Sorrentos Café 6 Bay Road, Mount Gambier From 10.30am one of several social events catered for by Woodlands Grove throughout the year, with residents also enjoying celebrations on Australia Day, St Patrick’s Day, Seniors Week and the estate’s annual open day, amongst other celebrations. Residents are now gearing up for the festive period, which will feature a night of carols and a Christmas gathering before December 25. More pictures in tomorrow’s edition Authorised by J Dawkins, Parliament House, North Terrace Adelaide 5000. Cannabis plants seized in Mount Gambier home raids POLICE seized 33 cannabis plants as part of two raids on Mount Gambier homes on Monday morning. Mount Gambier officers raided two homes, allegedly finding 28 cannabis plants growing hydroponically inside one house and another fi ve plants at another home. A 59-year-old Mount Gambier man was reported for cultivating the 28 plants. He will be summonsed to appear in court at later date. Police enquires are continuing regarding the second crop, which involved fi ve plants. Anyone with information on the location of cannabis or any illicit drug is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report information at the Mount Gambier Police Station. NEWS 3 Come and see our range of 3 & 4 Wheel Walkers! A DIVISION OF THE PARAPLEGIC AND QUADRIPLEGIC ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INC. SHOP 5 & 6 RIPLEY ARCADE, MOUNT GAMBIER. 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