Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS) - Travelling in Tasmania

Financial assistance for patients travelling to specialist medical services

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What is the Patient Travel Assistance Scheme?

The Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS) provides financial assistance with travel and/or accommodation costs for Tasmanian residents to access a range of specialist medical services, where these services are not available locally.

This is an assistance scheme only and you are expected to make a patient contribution.

Am I eligible?

You will be eligible for financial assistance under PTAS if you:

  • are a Tasmanian permanent resident;
  • are being referred to:
    • the nearest oncology/dialysis treatment centre more than 50 km (one-way) from your home; or
    • a specialist medical service/lymphoedema treatment more than 75 km (one-way) from your home;
  • are travelling by the least expensive form of transport;
  • have a PTAS application form signed by your referring medical specialist, oral/maxillofacial surgeon or rural GP referring you to the nearest appropriate specialist;
  • receive treatment claimable under Medicare from a recognised medical specialist; and
  • are not entitled to financial assistance through another scheme e.g. Motor Accident Insurance Board (MAIB), Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Workers Compensation, or other compensable schemes.

Can I have someone travel with me?

The Scheme also assists with the travel and/or accommodation costs of an escort accompanying you if you are under the age of 18 years.

If you are aged 18 years or over, an escort may be eligible for financial assistance if the escort is necessary to actively assist you during your travel or treatment.

In some exceptional circumstances, approval may be given for financial assistance for more than one escort.

What financial assistance is available?

Financial assistance is available towards approved air/sea and road travel and accommodation expenses. You will be required to make a contribution towards the cost of travel.

You can either make your own travel and/or accommodation arrangements, and claim the subsidy on your return home from the specialist treatment, or organise with your local PTAS Coordinator to pre-book your travel and/or accommodation.

Travel

Residents of King Island and the Furneaux Islands can claim the cost of a return economy airfare (Island Resident rates), plus the cost of the most economical, appropriate form of transport from the destination airport to and from the medical facility for a maximum of $30.00 per round journey.

If any patient, due to inability to pay for tickets in advance, requires the PTAS Coordinator to book a flight at the commercial rate, the patient pays no more than the normal contribution.

Other Tasmanians can claim the cost of return economy bus tickets, or private vehicle travel 21cents/km to and from the medical facility.

Accommodation

Subsidised accommodation is available at some Tasmanian medical facilities. When this is not available or not appropriate, PTAS may fund a maximum of $66 including GST per night for commercial accommodation for each approved person.  All tax invoices provided must state and Australian Business Name and Number (ABN) to be eligible for reimbursement, bookings undertaken through third party agents will not be eligible for PTAS assistance if unable to provide required details.  Private accommodation, parking or any incidental costs (e.g. phone calls or meals) are not eligible for the subsidy.

Note:

You may be requested to repay the costs associated with travel if you fail to:

  • use the scheduled flight/travel;
  • attend medical appointments without adequate justification; or
  • return the completed Section B and Section C of the application form.

What contribution do I make?

Travel

Health Care or Pensioner Concession cardholders are required to contribute $16.50 towards the cost of each return journey. Non-cardholders are required to contribute $82.50 towards the cost of each return journey.

In any one financial year, the maximum contribution for cardholders is $132, and for a non-cardholder is $330. If these limits are reached, no further contributions will be required for that year.

You and any approved escort are required to meet the additional costs incurred if you choose a more expensive form of transport than that approved (e.g. travel by air when road transport is assessed as appropriate).

Accommodation

You and your approved escort are required to meet the cost where the accommodation cost is over $66 including GST) per night per approved person.

Non-cardholders and their escort are required to pay the first two nights’ accommodation costs for each stay.

What if I can’t afford to pay for the travel and/or accommodation?

In this situation, please contact your local PTAS Coordinator to discuss an alternative arrangement.

How do I apply for assistance?

Your referring medical specialist or rural GP will normally provide you with the PTAS application form when you are referred for a specialist medical service.

They should complete Section A of the PTAS application form at this time and give it to you to deliver to your local PTAS Coordinator as soon as the application form is completed by your referring specialist and you.

It is important to note that the lodgement of an application form does not in itself represent approval.

What are my responsibilities in applying for PTAS?

It is your responsibility to:

  • submit the PTAS application form to your local PTAS Office as soon as the application form is completed by your referring medical specialist or rural GP;
  • ensure Section C of the PTAS application form is completed by the nominated specialist;
  • and attend any medical appointment as arranged;
  • give adequate notice if unable to travel; and
  • provide up-to-date contact details and bank account details if subsidy payment is expected.

Where can I find out more about PTAS?

To discuss PTAS eligibility requirements or benefits, please call your nearest PTAS Coordinator.

Information may also be obtained from:

  • Department of Health and Human Services DHHS PTAS website
  • Service Tasmania
  • Primary Health Facilities.

Patient Travel Assistance Scheme Offices

RegionContact Details
PTAS South

C/- Telstra Building

Ground Floor

70 Collins Street, Hobart 7000

Phone: 6166 8225 Fax: 6173 0321

Switchboard Phone: (03) 6166 8308

Launceston General Hospital

Charles Street, Launceston 7250

Phone: (03) 6777 6249

Fax: (03) 6777 5238

Switchboard Phone: (03) 6777 6777

North-West Regional Hospital

North-West Regional Hospital

C/ Parkside Building

Strahan Street, Burnie 7320

Phone: (03) 6477 7734

Fax: (03) 6434 6998

Switchboard Phone: (03) 6493 6000

Other PTAS Coordinators

CoordinatorContact Details

Devonport Community and Health Services Centre

23 Steele Street, Devonport 7310

Phone: (03) 6478 6177

West Coast District Hospital

60–64 Orr Street, Queenstown 7467

Rosebery Community Health Centre

Murchison Highway, Rosebery 7470

Phone: (03) 6495 1570

Smithton District Hospital

74 Brittons Road, Smithton 7330

Phone: (03) 6478 9520

King Island Hospital and Health Centre

31 Edward Street Currie, King Island 7256

Phone: (03) 6462 9900