Accommodation support payments for patients visiting the UK will increase from June 1, the first time they have gone up since 2004.
Maximum payments will go up to £50 per person per night (£74 in London). The current rate is £28 per person per night (£41.50 in London), meaning that payments will rise by just under 80%.
The Health and Social Care Minister, David Ashford MHK, made the decision after a Departmental review of the current level of payments which concluded in April this year.
Payments are intended as a contribution towards accommodation expenses for people needing to stay overnight in the UK in connection with a hospital appointment.
They cover patients referred to the UK by a consultant at Noble’s Hospital as well as escorts and visitors authorised by the Department of Health and Social Care for funded travel in connection with a patient’s visit to the UK.
Journeys by a patient who has been referred outside of the Isle of Man NHS, for example by a private consultant or GP, will remain ineligible.
To qualify, patients must book and pay for their own accommodation and claim back the expenses from the Patient Transfer Office.
The Minister commented:
'It is clear that these payments needed to be reviewed to make sure that they help to meet the increasing cost of overnight accommodation, whether in London or across the UK. These new levels will, I hope, give comfort to those who are travelling for treatment, and those going with them. I will ensure that payment levels are kept under review so that they continue to offer substantial support for all those that need them.'