MediStays was founded to support patients and their loved ones access the best care available. We achieve this by partnering with accommodation providers, including hotels and apartments, who provide discounted rates to our community.

To reduce the financial burden further, we link eligible patients and carers with financial support such, as the NSW Government Isolated Patient Travel Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS).

Every year, thousands of patients and their loved ones travel from country NSW to receive specialist medical care. In addition to coping with the news of a serious medical illness, patients and their carers are faced with leaving their safe home environments to stay in busy regional or metropolitan cities, often for an unknown length of time.

The NSW IPTAAS is an important initiative that supports patients and their loved ones with the costs of travelling for medical care. Under this scheme, patients and approved companions can claim up to $120/night towards their accommodation and travel costs.

In this article we will discuss aspects of the Scheme and provide tips for patients and their loved ones.

Criteria for applying for IPTAAS include:

  • resident of NSW or Lord Howe Island
  • travelling more than 100km (each way) from home to the hospital or 200km cumulative over one week.
  • travelling to receive specialist medical care

Patients are ineligible to claim IPTAAS if they are

  • receiving financial support from other schemes, including Workers Compensation or the Repatriation Transport Scheme administered under Veterans Affairs
  • participating in Clinical Trials
  • travelling for allied health such as physiotherapy.

How much is the accommodation subsidy?

The subsidy varies depending on the length and location of your stay.

Commercial accommodation

Patients staying alone are eligible to claim

  • $43/night 1-7 nights
  • $80/night 8-14 nights
  • $105/night 15+ nights

Patients staying with a companion are eligible to claim

  • $60/night 1-7 nights
  • $105/night 8-14 nights
  • $120/night 15+ nights

Not for profit (charity) accommodation

Patients staying alone are eligible to claim

  • $43/night 1-7 nights
  • $65/night 8+ nights

Patients staying with a companion are eligible to claim

  • $60/night 1-7 nights
  • $85/night 8+ nights

If your stay extends into the next financial year, your nightly subsidy will restart from the lowest level on the 1st of July.

How far do I need to travel to claim IPTAAS?

To claim IPTAAS you will need to travel 100km one way (home to hospital) or 200km cumulative distance over one week.

Who can be an approved companion or escort?

An escort or companion is a person approved to travel with the patient. This may include your husband or wife, carer or the parents of children under 18 years of age.

Can the accommodation provider bulk-bill the costs of my accommodation?

Yes. Many of MediStays accommodation partners can bulk-bill IPTAAS on your behalf. This means that the hotel or apartment will pay the costs of your IPTAAS accommodation subsidy and you pay the out of pocket difference (if any).

Bulk-billing is available from stays of 3 nights or more. Please contact our team for further information.

Do I need to pay out of pocket accommodation expenses?

If your accommodation costs are more than the IPTAAS nightly subsidy, you will need to pay some out of pocket expenses.

For example, if a patient and companion stay in accommodation close to hospital at $120/night, they will pay $60 per night for accommodation. IPTAAS will subsidise the remaining $60/night. The subsidy will increase as the length of stays increases.

What if I stay with a relative?

Accommodation in private homes is covered at $20/night under the IPTAAS scheme.

Can I claim my public transport travel to the hospital?

Yes, public transport costs are covered under IPTAAS. GST is not covered. Keep a copy of your tax invoices and record details of your journey (dates) on the form.

Can I claim my petrol costs?

Yes, petrol costs are covered under IPTAAS. If you travel in a private car, you are eligible to claim 22 cents per kilometre. The distance is calculated using google maps from your home address to medical specialist address.

How do I contact IPTAAS?

The caring team at IPTAAS have offices across NSW and are here to assist you.

You can call IPTAAS on 1800 478 227 and speak with someone directly.

Please visit this link for a complete list of IPTAAS offices

Please visit this link for further information and links to online and paper application forms

At MediStays we are here to support you….

Supporting patients to access the best medical care is our mission at MediStays. We know how hard it is to travel long distances from home when you are feeling unwell. We also understand that the burden of travelling long distances in country NSW results in some patients delaying access to care or even not travelling at all. This was shown by researchers in NSW, who reported that patients living in NSW (and the ACT) were 10% less likely to travel for cancer care for every 100km they needed to travel (Gabriel, 2015). Not accessing life-saving cancer treatments is a heart-breaking situation, resulting in poorer health outcomes and shorter survival for these patients.

Helping our community to minimise the costs of travelling is an important part of our role at MediStays. We understand the financial stress of travelling for medical care and hope to support you with helpful and practical information to make your journey easier. We are also working with accommodation providers to bulk-bill your accommodation costs where possible. For further information and links to IPTAAS, please visit the MediStays Financial Support page.