More support

South Australians living in regional areas will receive more support when travelling long distances to access health care.

Premier Jay Weatherill announced on Friday an additional $2.5 million a year - a 33 per cent increase - to the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme.

Mr Weatherill made the announcement in Whyalla with Labor candidate for Giles Eddie Hughes.

He said more people would now be covered, the amount the government contributed would increase and the application process simplified in wide-ranging changes to the scheme.

"For more than 40 years, the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme has been helping people who have to travel long distances for health care," Mr Weatherill said.

"In South Australia last year, more than 16,000 people accessed the service when they had to travel more than 100 kilometres for a hospital visit or to visit a medical specialist.

"This support comes in the form of travel and accommodation subsidies but we do know that there were many people in regional South Australia who felt the service needed to be improved and financial support increased to meet growing travel costs."

Mr Weatherill said strong lobbying last year from the current Member for Giles Lyn Breuer, the Member for Frome Geoff Brock and Member for Mount Gambier Don Pegler resulted in a review of the scheme.

"The independent review was led by health specialist Dr David Filby who travelled across the state and received almost 200 letters and submissions to his review," Mr Weatherill said.

"We've accepted all 15 of Dr Filby's recommendations to help improve the administration process, which will be implemented over the coming months - but from the strong feedback we received we knew we needed to do more."

PATIENT ASSISTANCE: South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill visited Whyalla this week and announced an increase in funding for the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme. Mr Weatherill is pictured discussing the facilities available at the Whyalla hospital with patient Rose Hillman.

PATIENT ASSISTANCE: South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill visited Whyalla this week and announced an increase in funding for the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme. Mr Weatherill is pictured discussing the facilities available at the Whyalla hospital with patient Rose Hillman.

MORE SUPPORT: South Australians living in regional areas will receive more support when travelling long distances to access health care.

MORE SUPPORT: South Australians living in regional areas will receive more support when travelling long distances to access health care.

This story More support first appeared on Whyalla News.