Did you know that many country patients travelling for medical care are eligible to claim accommodation and travel subsidies? At MediStays we are here to support you on your medical journey. To ease the financial burden of travelling for medical care, we have listed a variety of financial support options for you to consider.
If you are experiencing financial distress or concern, please contact a social worker or your hospital for professional support and advice.
Patient Assisted Travel Scheme
- Australian State and Territory governments subsidise accommodation and travel costs for eligible patients and carers travelling to specialist healthcare.
- The overall term for this financial support is the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS).
- Every jurisdiction has its own name for this scheme, eligibility requirements and allowances (e.g. VPTAS in Victoria)
- You may need to live a minimum distance from your health facility, for example 100km to claim a PATS allowance.
- A cumulative distance may be used if you are travelling daily, for example to attend radiation therapy five times per week.
- Accommodation assistance ranges between approximately $40 to $174 per night in commercial accommodation when two people are approved (e.g. patient and approved escort).
- Several schemes also provide assistance to patients staying in private accommodation.
- Your approved escort (caregiver) may be subsidised to stay with you in commercial accommodation, or to stay on their own if you are hospitalised.
As a general guide, subsidies for each Australian State and Territory are shown below. Each State and Territory have their own eligibility criteria and restrictions. For example, some require you to pay for the first four nights before paying your subsidy. Please refer to the links to your region for full eligibility criteria, restrictions and subsidies.
Subsidy for a single traveller staying in commercial accommodation (per night):
Subsidy for a patient accompanied by an approved escort, staying in commercial accommodation (per night):
- You may also be eligible to claim the cost of your travel to and from the hospital.
- Travel support includes petrol allowances (approx 20 cents per litre) when travelling in a private vehicle.
- Public trains, buses and commercial flights may also be covered.
Subsidy for private travel (petrol allowance):
Links to PATS in your State or Territory
- Your doctor or hospital will need to approve your eligibility for accommodation and travel allowance.
- Please ensure you retain all receipts to claim your allowances.
Click on your home State or Territory below for further information including eligibility requirements.
Additional financial assistance
Support options and links to a range of financial entitlements can be found on Australian Government websites including:
For further information explaining financial support options please visit the Australian Government MoneySmart website or speak to a Financial Counsellor (National Debt Helpline) on 1800 007 007.
Australian map courtesy https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Australia_states_blank.png