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Patient Assisted Travel Scheme

The Nationals are committed to improving the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme with a $52 million investment.

The Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS) provides financial subsides towards some of the travel and accommodation expenses associated with receiving medical treatment that is not available in regional areas.

The Nationals will commit an additional $52 million towards enhancing the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme by:

Increasing the existing subsidies:

  • Increasing the fuel subside to 19 cents;
  • Increasing the accommodation subsidy to cover approximately 50% of the average hotel rate in Perth, private $23, with escort $46; Commercial $100 (with or without an escort);

Changing the eligibility requirements:

  • Changing the air travel eligibility to 8 ours or 700km surface travel, instead of the current 16 hours or 1,400kms;
  • Including eligibility for cumulative travel (greater than 200kms for two or more trips per week);
  • Changing the Scheme to provide patients with access to the public health system in the first instance, even if that is further away. 

Enhancing the Scheme:

  • Extending subsidies for patients with treatment modalities greater than 6 months;
  • Providing patients requiring long term treatment and their escorts with the option to return home once, every 30 days;
  • Providing pregnant women with an additional week of accommodation when relocating for childbirth, and providing funding assistance for a travelling escort;
  • Including coverage for:
     - Allied health services (out-patient department referred)
     - Dental treatment for children aged 9-16 under General Admission,
     - Oral medical and oral pathology specialists services; and
  • Implementing an electronic application and claims form system. 

For more detail on our commitments, read our full policy paper here.