Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS) - Travelling outside 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 specialist medical service not available in Tasmania;
  • are not travelling by ambulance;
  • 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 assists with the travel and 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 if the escort is deemed necessary for medical reasons.

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.

Your local PTAS Coordinator will assist you by making all air/ ferry ticket and /or accommodation bookings.

Travel

If you live more than 75km from the airport/ferry terminal you can claim assistance for costs incurred for travel between home and the departure point.

Your air/ferry ticket will be paid at no more than economy class.

You may also claim your travel by the most economical transport option that is appropriate, between the airport/ferry terminal to the specialist medical facility and return.

To enable Interstate taxi reimbursement please ensure your receipts state Airport as the “Pick Up” or “Drop Off” destination to enable successful reimbursement to a maximum of $110.00 per return journey.

You and your escort (if requested and approved) are required to meet the additional costs incurred if you choose a more expensive form of transport than those approved within the PTAS Protocol

Accommodation

When subsidised accommodation is not available at the treating medical facility or deemed not appropriate, PTAS may fund a maximum of $87.00 inc GST per night for commercial accommodation for each approved person.

All tax invoices provided for reimbursement must state an Australian Business Name and Number (ABN) to be eligible, bookings undertaken through third party agents will not be eligible for PTAS assistance if unable to provide required detail.

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 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 rate for a cardholder 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.

Accommodation

You and your approved escort are required to meet the cost where the accommodation cost is $87 per night per approved person.

Non-cardholders and your 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;
  • travel 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 payment of the subsidy 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.

Where can my rural GP refer me to?

Rural GPs can only refer patients to specialist medical services within Tasmania.

The exception is the King Island rural GPs (District Medical Officers) who may refer patients to interstate medical specialists on the basis of clinical grounds.

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