Government Piloted Surgical Patient Travel Assistance Program

Travel and accommodation assistance will soon be available for some people in Nova Scotia who need to travel to other parts of the state for surgery.

The new pilot program will reduce out-of-pocket costs for eligible low-income patients who must travel across the state for scheduled surgeries, endoscopies and cystoscopies. This also includes surgery/procedure day and some related appointments. Also, if some patients can be transported to the scene with reduced waiting times, they may be able to undergo surgeries and procedures sooner.

“Some surgeries and procedures require Nova Scotia residents to travel considerable distances from their homes and sometimes stay overnight in order to be closer to the hospital, which can add to the cost of doing so.” Health Minister Michelle Thompson said. “This pilot program will reduce the burden of transportation and lodging costs for patients to undergo necessary surgeries and procedures.”

The pilot program will begin on Thursday, June 1st and will run for one year. The following compensation is provided:

  • Transportation fee of $0.57 per kilometer if using a private vehicle
  • Up to $85 per night for lodging for trips over 50km each way
  • Travel/accommodation expenses for someone to travel with the patient if necessary.

To be eligible for the program, Nova Scotia residents must:

  • Surgery or endoscopy/cystoscopy date confirmed
  • Be on the Nova Scotia Department of Health waiting list for surgery, endoscopy, or cystoscopy
  • Be a Nova Scotia resident with a valid health card
  • Have an annual gross household income of less than $35,000
  • You do not have private insurance to cover your travel and accommodation expenses.

You can apply at

Providing the care people in Nova Scotia need and deserve is a key solution in Action for Health, the government’s plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia.


For some patients, the need to travel for preoperative care and surgery can add to an already stressful situation. This program removes some of these worries by subsidizing transportation costs, allowing patients to focus on surgery and recovery.
Dr. Greg Hersh, Cardiac Surgeon and Senior Medical Director, Nova Scotia Health Perioperative (Surgery) Services Network


  • About 2,400 patients may be eligible for this pilot program, with an estimated cost of $946,000
  • An endoscopy procedure uses an endoscope or a thin tube to look inside the upper (throat, stomach) or lower (colon, intestines) digestive tract.
  • Cystoscopic procedure: A cystoscope, a thin tube with a camera and light that is inserted through the urethra to examine or repair tissue in the bladder


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