Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS)

The Patient Assistance Transport Scheme – called PATS for short – is a subsidy program funded by the Government of South Australia and administered through the six regional local health networks by the Rural Support Service in SA Health.

Through PATS, subsidies are provided to assist South Australians who are required to travel more than 100km each way to access necessary and approved medical specialist services that are not available locally.

To be eligible for PATS subsidies, you need to:

  • be a permanent South Australian resident
  • be enrolled in Medicare and receive treatment claimable through Medicare
  • not receive, or be eligible for, financial assistance for travel and accommodation through another provider, and have claimed any available benefits from a private health fund first, if applicable
  • have an appointment with or receive treatment from the nearest recognised medical specialist or approved medical specialist service (unless there is a valid medical reason for bypassing this service, in which case your referring doctor must complete section 1 of the application form)
  • be travelling more than 100km from your residence to your appointment or treatment location.

Approved escorts are also eligible for PATS.

What's covered?

PATS can contribute to the cost of your accommodation and travel, including air travel authorised by your specialist if required. Specific details about  what’s covered can be found in the PATS Guidelines for Assessment (PDF 568KB).

Access the PATS online calculator tool to determine the distance you travel from your permanent place of residence to specialist medical services.

Apply online

The PATS online portal is quick and easy to use – login or register to make your claim. Make sure you have an email address and your Medicare number handy.

GPs and specialist medical practitioners must register and be certified by PATS for portal access.

Paper-based PATS forms are still available if you need them and can be accessed below.

Application Form

If you are claiming for an individual appointment with your specialist, please use sections 1, 2 and 3. If you are claiming for multiple appointments in a short timeframe with the same specialist (block treatment), please use section 4.

Important information

  • Applications must be submitted within six months of your appointment date.
  • PATS is unable to guarantee eligibility prior to a full assessment of your claim.
  • We will require evidence of out-of-pocket expenditure incurred. Valid receipts or tax invoices need to be submitted with your application. Petrol receipts for private vehicle travel are not required.
  • The standard processing time for a claim is two to four weeks.

PATS Updates

For information about the latest changes and updates to PATS and the eligibility criteria, please visit the PATS Updates page.

    Further information

    Contact the PATS team on 1300 341 684 or email PATS@sa.gov.au

    Metropolitan Adelaide Hospital Guides