A recent Freedom of Information response has revealed that in 2022 Manx Care spent almost £800,000 on taxis, minibuses and ambulances transferring patients from their homes to treatment.
The majority of this spend comes from journeys off-island.
In the period from January 1 to December 31, a total of £794,415 was spent.
This figure does not include taxi journeys taken on payroll and it only includes taxis, minibuses, and ambulances procured from the private sector.
Whilst Manx Care were unable to provide a breakdown of how much was spent on each mode of transport, a spokesperson from Manx Care told the Independent, that £413,822 was spent on trips off-island.
This leaves £380,594 which was spent on taxis, minibuses and ambulances on-island last year.
In the Isle of Man, patient transfers are provided by Bus Vannin.
For those referred to UK hospitals by Noble’s Hospital, whilst travel to leave the island, and transport to the hospital in the UK is included, transport to the Isle of Man Airport or Sea Terminal is not covered by Manx Care.
In a ‘limited number of cases’ there is discretion to fund transport to the sea terminal or airport in the island, however Manx Care will only fund the lowest cost method reasonable for the journey, which is normally provided by Bus Vannin.
The government’s website says: ‘With the development of new, specialised techniques in the treatment of cancer, burns, transplants and many other fields, the number of patients being referred to UK hospitals has grown considerably in recent years.’
Manx Care has a contract with the taxi firm Comcabs for trips to hospitals in Liverpool.
For journeys outside Liverpool, individuals need to organise the transport themselves, and then submit a claim.
There is a review into patient transfers scheduled for August.