Tasmanian Artificial Limb Scheme

Tasmanian Health Service - Northern Region

Tasmanian Artificial Limb Scheme

Fact Sheet

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The Tasmanian Artificial Limb Scheme provides funding for eligible Tasmanians who require definitive limb prosthetic services associated with limb amputation or limb difference. The TALS funds, regulates and provides quality control for definitive limb prosthetic services in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Health Service administers the TALS on behalf of the Tasmanian Department of Health. The public provider, Orthotic Prosthetic Services Tasmania (OPST) is presently the only designated provider of TALS funded definitive prosthetics services.

What the TALS funds?

The TALS funds essential definitive limb prosthetic services on par with accessibility afforded by other Australian artificial limb schemes. Essential prosthetic services usually refers to the regular replacement and maintenance of a functional prosthesis, as well as to a basic water resistant prosthesis for use in the shower or other wet environments.

The TALS also funds a range of consumable items, such as stump socks and skin cosmetics which assist with wearing a prosthesis.

The TALS funds prosthetic services for people who have had an amputation or who have limb difference. Partial hand prostheses may be provided through TALS, however individual finger prostheses are not provided. Clients who have had partial foot amputations may have the following supplied by the TALS:

  • A custom made prosthesis designed to fit the client’s residual limb
  • Foot orthoses and modification to footwear including toe fillers and/or rocker soles and heels (as opposed to orthopaedic footwear which is not funded)

Although the TALS budget limits the range of high-end technology prosthetic components that are funded, eligible recipients can opt to co-contribute funds to access a broader range of components.

Who can access the TALS?

To access funding via the Tasmanian Artificial Limb Scheme, you are required to:

  • Be an Australian citizens; and
  • Hold a current Medicare card; and
  • Reside in Tasmania; and
  • Not be eligible to receive any other third party funding for provision of your prosthetic management; and
  • Nor have received funding for prosthetic services as part of a compensation claim (being either pending or settled).

Clients who have been paid compensation for their future prosthetic management may make application for re-admittance to TALS upon the full expenditure of their total allotted money on prosthetic services or where their financial situation requires future assistance with prosthetic services.

Any queries related to this topic should be referred directly to the TALS Manager.

NDIS funding of definitive limb prosthetic services

As part of the roll-out of the NDIS, there have been changes to the funding base of some services provided by the Tasmanian Health Service. These include changes to the funding base of definitive limb prosthetic services provided by Orthotic Prosthetic Services Tasmania (OPST).

All eligible people under 65 years can now apply for an NDIS Plan. In the near future, anyone who is eligible for the NDIS, but doesn’t yet have an approved NDIS Plan, and hasn’t previously accessed OPST, will need to contact the NDIA directly to ask about their NDIS access and the planning process.

At present, OPST will continue to provide outpatient prosthetic services in situations classified as emergencies and where NDIS funds are not accessible to fund urgently required clinical interventions.

For further information about NDIS funding, please refer to the Fact Sheet – NDIS and orthotic. prosthetic and custom seating & wheelchair services or go to the NDIS website

How to access the TALS

Clients accessing prosthetic services for the first time from the Tasmanian Health Service require referral to OPST from a rehabilitation consultant. Your eligibility to have these services funded via the TALS will then be determined. If you are transferring from another State where you have received artificial limb scheme funded services, the TALS will first need to obtain your file from that State, prior to funding any services.

Prosthetic prescription

The prosthetic prescription is generally the product of conversations between yourself and your prosthetist.  If you wish to seek an alternative opinion, then you can also contact the TALS Manager.

Peer review process

As a vital part of assuring provision of a quality service that meets the client’s needs, TALS requires that all prescribed definitive prostheses are acquitted.  This is conducted by an orthotist/prosthetist who is not responsible for providing the service (via peer review).

All clients are required to participate in the acquittal of services as a condition of their receiving services.

Modification to prostheses

Clients receiving TALS funded prostheses are prohibited from making any changes, alterations and/or repairs which in any way could affect the functioning of the prosthesis.  If you are having difficulty with your prosthesis, please contact your providing prosthetist at OPST.  Please be aware that TALS will not fund any services required which have arisen from a client’s tampering with the prosthesis.

If the service is not meeting my expectations to whom do I complain?

Generally, it is recommended that in the first instance you address any difficulty directly with your providing prosthetist. If this does not resolve the issue, then please feel free to contact the TALS Manager directly.  Unresolved issues with either TALS or with OPST may be directed to the Consumer Engagement Unit of the Tasmanian Health Service:

Seeking further general information about prosthetic services

Your providing prosthetist will be able to answer many questions regarding prosthetic clinical services, funding and other support services., as well as providing you with relevant written materials. You may also wish to contact OPST directly via the details below.

Contacts

To find out more about the TALS and about receiving prosthetic services, you can direct enquiries to the TALS Manager or via OPST as per the following details:

South

North

North West

94 Davey Street, Hobart 7000

Phone: (03) 6166 7377
Facsimile: (03) 6173 0414

Email: opst.tas@ths.tas.gov.au

(This is also the contact point for the TALS Manager)

Level 2
Launceston General Hospital
Charles Street, Launceston 7250

Phone: (03) 6777 8562
Facsimile: (03) 6777 5213

Email: lgh.opst@ths.tas.gov.au

Specialist Clinics
North West Regional Hospital
Brickport Road, Burnie 7320

Phone: (03) 6493 6272
Facsimile: (03) 6464 1946

Email: opst.nwrh@ths.tas.gov.au

March 2019