Quick guide for PTAS referrals
Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS)
This is a quick guide for clinicians when referring patients who are eligible for the Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS). PTAS provides financial subsidies to eligible Tasmanian residents who are required to travel long distances to access specialised clinical services.
Who can refer?
- For travel within Tasmania a GP can refer for a PTAS subsidy
- For travel interstate a specialist referral is required for PTAS subsidy
How do I refer?
- Refer a patient using the PTAS application form and complete Section 2 of the form
PTAS application form
The PTAS application form has changed. Please make sure you have the latest version downloaded.
You can also access referral templates for Medical Director and Best Practice software from the Primary Health Tasmania website.
Can I refer to myself?
- No, medical practitioners should not refer to themselves. Self-referrals will only be considered where no other suitable provider is available.
Is my patient eligible for PTAS?
Patients must meet the following criteria:
- be a Tasmanian resident, and
- be required to travel
- 75 km or more (one way) from their place of residence to the nearest eligible clinical service, or
- 50 km or more (one way) from their place of residence to the nearest oncology or dialysis treatment centre
Eligible clinical services
- Specialist medical services provided by the public Tasmanian hospital system, including services that are provided by mainland partner hospitals (according to the Tasmanian Clinical Services Profile).
- Specialist service covered by an item in the Australian Government Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).
- Oncology or dialysis treatment.
- Allied health services, including lymphoedema treatment, when referred by a specialist as an essential component of an eligible service treatment plan.
- Jack Jumper Allergy Program.
- Independent midwifery services for patients assessed as having a low-risk or uncomplicated pregnancy.
- Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) where there is a known genetic disorder in a family and for which PGD is available.
The following services are not eligible
- General practice medical services
- Interstate private clinical services
- General dental, orthodontic and periodontic services
- Procedures not included on the MBS
- Cosmetic procedures
- Experimental treatments.
Is my patient eligible for an escort?
An escort is someone who provides physical assistance to the patient when travelling or during treatment. Escorts must be 18 years or older and capable of providing physical support. Escorts are not approved for social, emotional, or cultural support reasons.
Please indicate on the referral if the patient requires an escort.
One escort should be requested for
- all patients under the age of 18 years
- when an escort is legally required to make health decisions on a patient’s behalf
- patients requiring translation services to communicate when no translator service is available at the service.
One escort may also be requested for the following reasons:
- patient impairment: such as cognitive, visual or mobility impairment; severe and complex mental illness; or frailty
- active role of carer: carer is responsible for the patient’s medical treatment, such as dialysis, catheterisation, administering medical treatment, or needs to assist with personal care requirements due to physical disability, or needs to provide supervision during transport
- a life-threatening condition or serious morbidity: such as when a patient’s condition or treatment has a high mortality risk score, or a patient is admitted to an intensive care unit.
Two escorts can be requested for
- newborn infants (birth to 6 months)
- children (over six months and under 18 years) when the child requires admission to a hospital for surgery or complex medical care.
You can find more information, including contact details for our offices, on the Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS) page.