Treatments and tests

Who is eligible for the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS)?

You may be eligible for PATS if you are a permanent WA country resident who needs to travel:

  • more than 100 km to access your nearest eligible medical specialist service, or
  • between 70 and 100 km to access dialysis or cancer treatment.

The specialist service may be a private specialist or one based in a public hospital or may be accessed via telehealth.

In some cases you may also be eligible for financial assistance towards some of the travel and accommodation costs of having an approved escort or carer travel with you to your appointment.

For example, if you are a patient who is :

  • a dependent child under 18
  • under the care of a principal carer (as determined by Centrelink)
  • a home dialysis patient receiving training (a carer is required to attend as a condition of the medical specialist treatment)
  • unable to manage your treatment alone, for example if you are frail, have a disability or are undergoing cancer treatment.

Please note: If you live in the Peel region, please contact 1800 823 131 (toll free) for information regarding your eligibility for PATS.

Who is not eligible?

If you are a visitor to country WA, regardless of whether you are from Australia or overseas, you are not eligible for PATS.

This includes fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) contractors who do not have permanent residence in a rural area in Western Australia.

You are not eligible to claim PATS if you:

  • have travelled to a treatment centre for another purpose, and then subsequently require specialist medical treatment
  • are able to claim a travel or accommodation subsidy under another scheme, for example workers compensation or Department of Veteran Affairs
  • are a student boarding for the purpose of attending an educational institution in the area where appropriate treatment facilities are located
  • are a parent visiting a sick child who is boarding in an area where appropriate treatment facilities are located  
  • are a student at home on vacation who returns to boarding accommodation in an area where appropriate treatment facilities are located. In these circumstances, you will only be eligible if your referring practitioner gives a medical reason why you need to see the medical specialist before your scheduled return.

Acknowledgements
WA Country Health Service

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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