A WARRAGUL physiotherapist has been forced to charge Traffic Accident Commission clients fees because TAC payments do not cover costs.
Through Life Physiotherapy owner Helen Low told The Warragul Citizen she introduced a gap fee to cover costs but is still making a loss when she travels to see clients.
“In the 2011-2012 financial year I worked… about 30 hours per week, and I got to the end of the year and I made absolutely no income for myself,” Ms Low said.
“One of the significant contributions to that financial difficulty was just accepting TAC rates for the work that we were doing of the TAC clients.
“I introduced gap fees for my TAC clients and I did lose clients over that because they couldn’t pay the gap fee.
“The TAC pays about $96 per hour when we drive, whereas the costs I incur when I drive are more like $242 per hour.
“At the moment I don’t pass that on to the clients, I’m wearing that cost myself because for the people in this situation (unable to visit a physiotherapist) finances are often very difficult.”
Ms Low said some clients stopped undergoing physiotherapy when she introduced the gap fee.
Ms Low said the TAC’s cover does not consider the extra costs faced by physiotherapists in regional areas and the organisation has not responded to requests for increased travel payments.
TAC CEO Janet Dore told The Warragul Citizen the organisation was reviewing a submission from the Australian Physiotherapy Association Victoria asking them to review the payments.
“The TAC is in the process of reviewing the submission and will meet with the APA in the coming months to discuss the outcome of the submission,” Ms Dore said.
“The TAC will continue to work with the APA in ensuring TAC clients receive quality physiotherapy care.
“This includes working with the APA to develop opportunities for physiotherapists to improve outcomes for TAC clients.”
Ms Low said Through Life Physiotherapy came close to closing due to the gap and other physiotherapists in regional areas were feeling the pinch.
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