Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS)

Southern Tasmania Area Health ServicesTasmanian Health Service - Southern Region

Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS)

The Patient Travel Assistance Scheme provides financial assistance with travel and/or accommodation costs to Tasmanian permanent residents to access a range of specialist medical services where the services are not available locally.

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

Am I eligible for PTAS?

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

  • Are a Tasmanian permanent resident.
  • Are being referred to:
    • The nearest dialysis/oncology treatment centre more than 50 km (one-way) from your home.
    • A specialist medical service/lymphedema treatment more than 75 km (one-way) from your home or not available in Tasmania.
  • Are travelling by a normal form of transport (the scheme does not meet ambulance costs).
  • 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.
  • Are not entitled to financial assistance through another scheme e.g. Motor Accident Inusrance Board (MAIB), Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Workers Compensation, or other compensable schemes.

Can I have someone to travel with me?

The scheme also 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.

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

What financial assistance is available for travelling in Tasmania?

Financial assistance is available towards approved air/sea and road travel, and accommodation (where applicable) expenses.  You can either make your own travel and/or accommodation  arrangements, and to claim reimbursement on your return home from the specialist treatment, or organise with your local PTAS Coordinator to pre-book your travel and/or accommodation.

The reimbursement rate for you and your approved escort(s) are as follows:

Travel

The cost of return economy bus tickets, or private vehicle travel (21 cents/km) to and from the medical facility.

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

In any one financial year, the maximum contribution for a card-holder 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 they choose a more expensive form of transport than that approved (e.g. travel by air when road transport is assessed as appropriate).

Residents of King Island and the Furneaux Islands

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.

Accommodation

Intrastate Accommodation

A maximum of $66.00 per night for commercial accommodation for each approved person. You and your approved escort are required to pay the extra cost if your accommodation costs more than $66.00 per night per approved escort.

Non-card holders and your escort are required to pay the first two nights’ accommodation costs for each stay.

Financial assistance is not given for you if you are admitted to hospital.  In this instance there will be only one payment of $66.00 per night for accommodation if you have an approved escort.

Interstate Accommodation

A maximum of $87.00 per night for commercial accommodation for each approved person.

You and your approved escort are required to pay the extra cost if your accommodation costs more than $87.00 per night per approved escort.

Non-card holders and your escort are required to pay the first two nights’ accommodation costs for each stay.

Financial assistance is not given for you if you are admitted to hospital.  In this instance there will be only one payment of $87 per night for accommodation if you have an approved escort.

How do I apply for assistance?

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

The form has 3 sections, A, B and C.

Section A – is to be completed by your Tasmanian medical specialist.

Section B – is to be completed by yourself. Please include a copy of your Pension or Health Care Card (if you have one).

Once Section A and B are completed, return the completed documents to the PTAS office closest to your place of residence.

Section C – is to be completed by the doctor, or one of his team that is treating you.

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

Patient Travel Assistance Scheme Office

LocationGround Floor, Telstra Building, 70 Collins Street, Hobart
Phone(03) 6166 8225 / 6166 8546
Fax(03) 6173 0321
Switchboard Phone(03) 6166 8028