RACV recognises that there is a financial burden for Victorians who need an Occupational Therapist Driver Assessment (OTDA) and is calling for the government to mitigate this expense by introducing a subsidy scheme for the cost.
An OTDA assesses medical fitness to drive with the primary aim to assist those with medical conditions or disabilities to continue to drive safely, independently and legally. After an accident or illness, the skills we need to drive safely may be compromised. To protect everyone on the roads, this system needs to ensure that specially trained therapists can produce a report for VicRoads to assess their ability to drive without unreasonable financial burden.
However, this driving assessment can be an enormous financial burden on many Victorians, especially in circumstances requiring regular re-testing. RACV understands that driving plays an important role in our lifestyle, independence and freedom and there are many Victorians who cannot cope with the financial costs of these specific assessments, which compels them to cease driving.
Considering this can significantly impact their social, recreational and professional lives, RACV wants the OTDA to be claimable under a Medicare or a subsidy scheme.
This cost is exacerbated for those living in rural or regional areas, who may not have good access to an OT driver assessor and are charged more if OTs are required to travel great distances to undertake the assessment. To ease the financial expense, RACV is also advocating funding for OTs to undertake training to become qualified driving assessors and incentivising for them to be based in regional and rural locations.
Authorised by Bryce Prosser, RACV General Manager Public Policy and Corporate Affairs, 485 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000