Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS)
What is the Patient Travel Assistance Scheme?
Travelling for specialised health services can be costly for Tasmanians who live a long way from the health care services they need. The Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS) can help.
PTAS provides financial help in three ways:
- Travel assistance
- Accommodation assistance
- Assistance if you need someone to travel with you.
Who can receive a PTAS subsidy?
Who is eligible for the subsidy?
You may be eligible for PTAS financial help if you:
- are a Tasmanian resident
- are receiving an eligible clinical service from an approved clinical provider
- need to travel a distance of
- more than 75 km (one way) to the nearest specialised health service or
- more than 50 km (one way) to the nearest cancer or dialysis centre, and
- are not receiving financial help for travel costs from another organisation.
What is an eligible clinical service?
You can receive a travel subsidy for these services:
- most public hospital services
- most specialist medical services covered under Medicare
- cancer or dialysis treatment
- lymphoedema treatment
- Jack Jumper Allergy Program
- allied health services that a specialist has ordered as an essential part of your treatment plan
- independent midwifery services for women who have a low-risk or uncomplicated pregnancy
Subsidies are provided to the nearest eligible clinical service in Tasmania.
Where access to an eligible clinical service is not available in Tasmania, a PTAS subsidy will be provided to travel to the nearest eligible public clinical service interstate.
PTAS does not subsidise travel to private clinical services located outside of Tasmania.
What if I need someone to travel with me?
Patient contributions and subsidies
How much do I have to pay?
If you are a concession card holder, or the child of a concession card holder, you will only have to pay the gap between the subsidy and the actual cost of travel.
Eligible concession cards are:
- Services Australia Pensioner Concession Card
- Services Australia Health Care Card
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner Concession Card
If you are not a concession card holder, you will also be required to make a contribution to the cost of your travel.
|You are required to contribute the first $82.50 towards the cost of each patient return journey. Patient contributions are capped at $330.00 per financial year.
|The patient and any approved escort meet the total cost of the first 2 nights’ accommodation per travel journey.
How much will I get back?
PTAS provides financial help with travel costs for private car, taxi, public transport, airfares or ferry travel for visits to approved clinical providers. We will subsidise the most appropriate and cost-effective form of transport available.
The subsidy varies depending on where you need to go. Subsidies are calculated to the nearest specialised health service, at the following rates:
|$0.24 per km
|Taxi – only when you are required to fly or take the Spirit of Tasmania
|Taxi reimbursement or voucher from airport to treatment centre (or accommodation if arriving prior to the day of treatment) and return
|Best available economy fare
|Spirit of Tasmania
|Best available fare
Accommodation subsidies are paid at the following rates:
|Location of accommodation
|Up to $76.00 per night
|Up to $98.00 per night
Before you travel, check with the PTAS office that you qualify. If you do, they can also estimate how much subsidy you can expect.
How do I apply?
You can get an application form online, at a PTAS office or from your referring doctor.
The application form has three sections.
1. Patient information
- You (or your carer/guardian) complete section one with your details, including bank details for payments.
- Provide a copy of any concession cards as you may be eligible for more support.
2. Referral information
- Your GP or specialist completes section two, detailing the clinician you need to travel to and why.
- If your appointment is interstate, you should submit sections one and two before you travel. This is so we can confirm your eligibility and assist you with booking flights (if needed).
- If you need to travel within 7 days, contact your local PTAS office immediately.
3. Certification of clinical service received
- When you attend your appointment, take section three to be signed by your clinician to confirm they have seen you.
If you have already travelled to your appointment, you can submit a retrospective claim. Your claim must be submitted within 6 months of this appointment.
How do I book?
Once you have been advised that your PTAS application has been approved, you can make travel and accommodation arrangements.
Interstate travel is usually booked by PTAS staff in consultation with you.
When the bookings are made by PTAS staff, you must pay the difference between the subsidy and the actual cost for accommodation bookings.
If you choose to make your own travel arrangements, you will need to pay for all of your travel and accommodation costs upfront and claim for reimbursement afterwards. If you book your travel before receiving approval for PTAS subsidies, and your application is declined you will not receive reimbursement.
How do I claim reimbursement after travel?
After you have completed all three sections of the application form, attach any receipts or tax invoices for travel and accommodation costs to your application and submit to PTAS for payment. You can do this online, by email, post or at your PTAS office.
You'll be contacted once your application has been assessed.
Appeals and exceptional rulings
An appeal is a request to have your PTAS application reassessed if
- you believe it was not assessed correctly the first time or
- you have additional information that you wish to have considered.
An exceptional ruling is a special decision made when your application meets the intent of the PTAS Policy but does not clearly meet the strict rules of the PTAS Operational Framework. Exceptional rulings take into account an individuals’ specific circumstances and are determined on a case-by-case basis.
You can lodge an appeal to the PTAS Manager in writing by mail, email, or hand delivered to your local PTAS office.
Your appeal should be lodged within 60 days of being notified of the application outcome.
Exceptional ruling decisions cannot be appealed.
Exceptional rulings are considered by the PTAS Advisory and Approvals Committee on a case-by-case basis.
To make an exceptional ruling, download the exceptional ruling form or contact your local PTAS Office for a copy.
- Application form
- Guidelines for Medical Practitioners
- Independent review (KP Health)
- Operational Framework
- PTAS fact sheet
- PTAS Policy
- Quick guide for referrals
If you would like more information or have questions about what we can help with, please get in touch.
Launceston General Hospital
274-280 Charles Street
Launceston TAS 7250
North-West Regional Hospital
C/- Parkside Building
1 Strahan Street
Burnie TAS 7320
Royal Hobart Hospital
K Block, Ground Floor
48 Liverpool Street
Hobart TAS 7000
You can lodge your compliments, complaints or feedback with your local PTAS office or through the ‘compliments, complaints and feedback’ process at your local public hospital.
If you don't believe your complaint has been dealt with fairly, you can contact the Chair of the PTAS Advisory and Approvals Committee, who will respond to you within 20 business days.