Patient travel assistance schemes

From National Cancer Control Policy

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Patient Travel Assistance Schemes - by jurisdiction

Each Australian state and territory has an individual subsidy program which provides financial assistance towards travel and accommodation costs for people affected by cancer (and eligible escorts) who are required to travel long distances to access specialist medical services not available locally. Eligibility criteria and subsidy amount against each expense varies within each state or territory program however, all aim to reduce the financial burden on people undergoing cancer treatment in rural, regional and remote areas.


Click on your State or Territory's program for more information

Australian Capital Territory
Interstate Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (IPTAS)
New South Wales
Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS)
Northern Territory
Assistance Travel Scheme (PATS)
Queensland
Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (IPTAS)
South Australia
Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS)
Tasmania
Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS)
Victoria
Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPAS)
Western Australia
Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS)


Table 1. Patient travel assistance schemes – by jurisdiction

New South Wales
Eligibility criteria Private vehicle Public transport Air travel Taxi travel Accommodation
Required to travel 100km one way or a cumulative distance of 200km in one week from usual place of residence 19c/km Reimbursement at economy rates less GST Prior approval sought by medical practitioner/specialist from IPTAAS office One visit $20; 2-7 days visit $40; 8-14 days visit $80; 15+ days visit $160 Single room $43/night; double room $60/night; private accommodation $140/week
Northern Territory
Eligibility criteria Private vehicle Public transport Air travel Taxi travel Accommodation
NT resident for six months or more, and reside more than 200km from specialist treatment or have to travel more than 400km cumulatively in one week for oncology or renal treatment. Escorts are approved on an individual basis. 20c/km Paid at the lowest available discount fare Paid at the lowest available fare $50/trip Commerical $60/night; Private $20/night; limit of 12 months applies to accommodation subsidy
Queensland
Eligibility criteria Private vehicle Public transport Air travel Taxi travel Accommodation
QLD resident; have a Medicare Card (or are eligible to hold a Medicare Card); have a medical referral to the service; service is not available within 50km of nearest public hospital; PTSS subsidies may be available for dental and allied health services when treatment is required as an essential component of the specialist medical services (closest service of it's type must be accessed). 30c/km Bus & rail - fully paid at lowest available discount Fully paid at lowest available discount N/A Commercial: $60 pp/night; Private (family or friend’s home): $10 pp/night
South Australia
Eligibility criteria Private vehicle Public transport Air travel Taxi travel Accommodation
Permanent Australian citizen or SA permanent resident; live more than 100km away from the nearest treating specialist; referral from a local doctor to the nearest treating specialist for specialist treatment; receive treatment claimable under Medicare from a recognised medical specialist and; if applicable, have claimed any available benefits from your private health fund first 16c/km Full reimbursement Prior approval obtained- full reimbursement except credit card fees & insurance, No prior approval- 16c/km reimbursement. Exception: from Kingscote receive benchmark of $273/person & from Port Lincoln receive benchmark of $279/person N/A Single $40/night; double $80/night; do not subsidise first night accommodation if person is not a pension or health care card holder.
Tasmania
Eligibility criteria Private vehicle Public transport Air travel Taxi travel Accommodation
Self-funded patients pay first $330 annual costs; no upfront costs for Centrelink patients; must be 50km from treatment centre 21c/km Return economy bus tickets reimbursed N/A N/A Interstate: $87/night for approved person; Within Tasmania: $66/night for approved person (Total daily subsidy payable to both patients and their carer is $132/night in Tasmania and $174/day interstate). Non concession card holders are required to pay the first two nights accommodation for each stay.
Victoria
Eligibility criteria Private vehicle Public transport Air travel Taxi travel Accommodation
Victorian resident receiving medical treatment under designated Medicare codes. Must travel more than 100km one way or on average 500 kms per week for minimum of five consecutive weeks 20c/km Full reimbursement If travel is more than 350km, commercial flight only To nearest public transport only $41/night (+GST) for patient and one approved escort
Western Australia
Eligibility criteria Private vehicle Public transport Air travel Taxi travel Accommodation
Permanent resident of WA country health service region, travel more than 100km each way to access nearest specialist medical treatment, travel more than 70km each way to access cancer treatment or dialysis where the health service is unable to provide a transport service (travel only) 16c/km, $20 flat reimbursement per return trip N/A but coach or rail eligible for the relevant economy or discounted fare Approved if currently on treatment for cancer and road journey is more than four hours or 350km Only under strict conditions Single $60/night; patient with escort $75/night; private home: single $20/night; patient with escort $40/night

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