OUR HOME: Wayne Richards and Helen Thomas, front right, in their Our House room with fellow residents Kris Gibson and Ken Moses, and Karen and Ron Rhodes. They say Our House offers more than just accommodation.
OUR HOME: Wayne Richards and Helen Thomas, front right, in their Our House room with fellow residents Kris Gibson and Ken Moses, and Karen and Ron Rhodes. They say Our House offers more than just accommodation. Cathy Adams

Our House joins group asking govt for a level playing field

LISMORE'S cancer support centre Our House will be one of a number of not-for-profit accommodation providers meeting in Sydney today to rally the NSW government to change its funding policy.

Changes to the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme, (IPTAAS) have seen commercial accommodation subsidies increased.

At the same time subsidy rates for patients staying at not-for-profit centres, like Our House, have stayed the same, making it cheaper for some patients to stay at commercial hotels.

The not-for-profit accommodation providers are asking for a return to a level playing field to remain viable and ensure patients care is optimal.

Christian Democrat MLC Paul Green took a tour of Our House during his recent visit to Lismore for the NSW Upper House Inquiry into NSW TAFE funding.

The senator has since publicly backed Our House and the push from other not-for-profit accommodation providers in NSW to have equal funding under IPTAAS.

"I have grave concerns about the recent Policy Directive for IPTAAS and its effect on not-for-profits accommodation providers across the state," he said.

"We are lending our support to not-for-profit organisations and we certainly will be taking a closer interest to ensure equitable solutions are achieved for facilities like Our House.

"This will ensure all accommodation providers are operating on a level playing field."

Our House chair Dr Chris Ingall said the support from the Christian Democrat Party, which holds the balance of power in senate, was a "great encouragement".

"Paul sees Our House as an exceptional example of a not-for-profit facility who is working for the patients and with the community to provide excellent accommodation for patients travelling for treatment," he said.

Representatives from Our House will meet with representatives from the health minister's office and Integrated Care NSW.



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