Northern Health Travel Grant

Northern Health Travel Grants are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The grants help pay some of the travel related costs for Northern Ontario residents who must travel at least 100 kilometres one-way for medical specialist or designated health care facility services that are not locally available. In addition, as of October 1, 2007, the NHTG Program provides an accommodation allowance of $100 per eligible trip to patients whose one-way road distance to the closest specialist or designated health care facility (e.g. hospital for MRI) able to provide the required services is at least 200 kilometres. Please be certain to obtain and submit a receipt for accommodations which lists the patient as the person paying for the room.

Printable Brochure: Northern Health Travel Grants [PDF]

Am I eligible for a travel grant?

You are eligible for a travel grant if:

  • you are an OHIP insured Ontario resident on the date of treatment, and your primary place of residence is in the districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Timiskaming or Thunder Bay;
  • you are referred for specialty health care that is an insured service under the Health Insurance Act;
  • a northern physician, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, midwife or nurse practitioner has referred you before the travel takes place;
  • you are referred to a medical specialist who is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or a Winnipeg (Manitoba) physician enrolled on the Manitoba Health Specialist Register and permitted to bill as a specialist; or you are referred to a physician who holds a specialist certificate of registration issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) in a recognized medical or surgical specialty other than family or general practice; and
  • the nearest specialist/designated health care facility able to provide the type of care you require in Ontario or Manitoba is at least 100 kilometres from your area of residence.

Note :  Patients enrolled in the Ontario sponsored Positron Emission Tomography (PET) trials, or the Ontario funded PET registry studies are eligible for travel grants and an accommodation allowance, should they meet all other NHTG Program eligibility requirements. Eligibility applies to patients whose trials were conducted on, or after October 1, 2007.

Processing Time

A cheque will be mailed to you within approximately 6 weeks from the date the ministry receives your completed and correct application form. Please allow 6 weeks before making an inquiry regarding the status of your application.

What happens if an applicant is incapable of giving consent :

  • For children under 16 years of age, a parent with custody, a children’s aid society or other person lawfully entitled to give consent for a child can do so, and sign the application form on behalf of the child.
  • For incapable individuals who are 16 years of age or older, one of the following ranked persons can act as the individual’s substitute decision maker and consent or sign the application form on behalf of the incapable individual. If there is no person available and willing to act on behalf of the individual under the first category, someone in the next category can act on behalf of the individual, and so on:
    1. The patient’s guardian or guardian of property, if the consent relates to the guardian’s authority to make a decision on behalf of the patient.
    2. The patient’s attorney for personal care or attorney for property, if the consent relates to the attorney’s authority to make a decision on behalf of the patient.
    3. The patient’s representative appointed by the Consent and Capacity Board, if the representative has authority to give the consent.
    4. The patient’s spouse or partner.
    5. A child or parent of the patient, or a children’s aid society or other person who is lawfully entitled to give or refuse consent in the place of the parent. This paragraph does not include a parent who has only a right of access to the individual. If a children’s aid society or other  person is lawfully entitled to consent in the place of the parent, this paragraph does not include the parent.
    6. A parent of the patient with only a right of access to the individual.
    7. A brother or sister of the patient.
    8. Any other relative of the patient.

Who is not eligible for a travel grant?

You are not eligible for a travel grant if :

  • the care is related to a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board claim.
  • another government program or organization pays for your travel.
  • the health care service is not an OHIP insured benefit.
  • you travel round trip by ambulance.
  • the health care service is provided by a non-RCPSC certified medical specialist, and/or non-RCPSC certified physician in Winnipeg (Manitoba) who is not enrolled on the Manitoba Health Specialist Register; or the health care service is provided by a physician who does not hold a specialist certificate of registration issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) in a recognized medical or surgical specialty other than family or general practice.
  • the nearest specialist/designated health care facility is within 100 kilometres of your area of residence.

What costs does the NHTG program help pay?

Travel:

  • Approved travel grants for patients whose out-of-town treatment was provided on, or after July 1, 2007, are currently paid at 41 cents per kilometre based on return road distance travel between a patient’s area of residence and the location of the nearest medical specialist or designated health care facility that can provide the service. There is a deductible of 100 kilometres on your trip.

Accommodation:

  • For treatment/care provided prior to April 1, 2009, the NHTG Program provides an accommodation allowance of $100 for each eligible trip a patient makes. To be eligible for this accommodation allowance the patient’s one-way road distance for their trip must be at least 200 kilometres from their area of residence to the nearest medical specialist or designated health care facility able to provide the required treatment/care, and must be eligible for a travel grant. The receipt showing payment for accommodation must be in the name of the patient.
  • As of April 1, 2009, the NHTG Program provides an accommodation allowance of $100 for each eligible trip made if:
    • The patient meets all of the eligibility requirements including the one-way road distance of at least 200 kilometres from their area of residence to the location of the medical specialist or designated health care facility; or
    • The patient would have met all of the eligibility requirements had he/she not:
      • traveled in same vehicle with another patient; or
      • secured a free travel ticket from a current/past employer/parent’s employer, or other organization.

Meals:

  • Travel grants help pay the overall cost of your travel, but do not cover all expenses, such as meals.

Can a person who helps me travel apply for a grant?

Yes, if you are under 16 years of age, or the referring practitioner has indicated, based on his or her professional judgment, that you are unable to travel without a companion. If travel is by plane, train or bus, both you and the companion may receive a grant if you have both paid a fare and the companion section of the application form is completed. If the travel is by personal car, then you and your companion can apply for an equal share of one grant.

How do I apply for a travel grant?

  • The Application for Northern Health Travel Grant (form 0327-88)  must be completed by you and the referring doctor, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, midwife or nurse practitioner. Application forms can be obtained from the above referring providers, or your local Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care office (for office locations see the government pages of the telephone book under Health and then OHIP or access the Internet atwww.health.gov.on.ca). Your travelling companion must also complete the appropriate section(s). You must complete a form for each round trip you make. Only one application can be submitted for each round trip, regardless of the number of physicians visited during that trip.
  • The specialist you travel to see must complete his or her section of the form.
  • After your treatment, mail or take your application form to a ministry office indicated in the General Instructions section of the form. Include your original bus, rail or air travel receipts as well as those for any travelling companion. Do not send photocopies.
  • Applications must be received by the ministry within twelve (12) months of your visit to the specialist/designated health care facility. Incomplete forms will be returned to the applicant.

Note:
Processing Time:
 A cheque will be mailed to you within approximately 6 weeks from the date the ministry receives your completed and correct application form. Please allow 6 weeks before making an inquiry regarding the status of your application.

What is a procedure provided in a designated health care facility?

The following are examples of procedures performed in a designated health facility :

  • Chemotherapy at a regional cancer centre;
  • MRI, or dialysis services performed in a hospital;
  • Ultrasound, or Pulmonary Function Testing services rendered in a hospital.

Note:

Initial referral for which medical service was provided on, or after October 1, 2006: The Northern Health Travel Grant (NHTG) Program requirement for a northern referral has been changed to one referral every twelve (12) months. There will be no limit on the number of medically necessary follow-ups, as long as they are made within twelve months from an initial referral/service date to the same specialist or designated health care facility.

Effective January 1, 2007, for the purpose of the NHTG Program, the definition of a medical specialist (certification by the RCPSC) has been expanded to include Winnipeg (Manitoba) physicians enrolled on the Specialist Register of Manitoba Health (MH) and permitted to bill as specialists. The names on the following pages provided by Manitoba Health lists non-RCPSC certified physicians who are permitted to bill as specialists, and thus recognized for travel grant eligibility purposes. Direct any questions regarding this matter to (705) 564-7288.

Effective January 1, 2008, for the purpose of the NHTG Program, the definition of a medical specialist has been expanded to include physicians who hold specialist certificates of registration issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) in recognized medical or surgical specialties other than family or general practice.

To verify a specialist’s RCPSC certification using the website, follow these steps :

  1. Keyhttp://www.royalcollege.ca/
  2. Specify language (English/French) below “Directory of Fellows”
  3. Click: “Confirm Status” and accept Disclaimer
  4. Enter doctor’s last name and city and click: “Search”
  5. Check specialty/subspecialty

A physician showing under a given specialty is certified, and a certification date will be specified.

 

What can I do if my application for an NHTG is denied?
You can request a review within 12 months from the date provided on the denial letter you receive.

If there are exceptional medical circumstances surrounding your treatment trip that may allow an exception to the program eligibility criteria, you may appeal your denial decision to the newly developed NHTG Medical Appeals Committee in writing to:

Medical Appeals Committee
Care of : Northern Health Programs
159 Cedar Street, Sudbury, ON
P3E 6A5

 

For general information:

  • (705) 675-4010 (local area)
  • 1 800 461-4006 (for service in English)
  • 1 800 461-1149 (for service in French)

 

For further details or frequently asked questions on Northern Health Travel Grants click here.