Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS)

The Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS) – called PATS for short - is a scheme which provides subsidies towards the cost of travel and accommodation when rural and remote South Australians have to travel to see their nearest medical specialist.

You may be eligible for PATS if:

  • you live more than 100 kilometres away from the nearest treating specialist
  • your treatment is claimable under Medicare
  • you have claimed any available benefits from your private health fund.

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.

You have six months to submit an application after the date you visited your medical specialist.

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

If you need help, call PATS on 1300 341 684 or email PATS@sa.gov.au

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

Application Form

Updates

PATS offices closed

As of Tuesday 14 April 2020, all Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS) offices have been closed as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  You will still be able to access PATS services when required and claims will continue to be assessed by our PATS staff.

Claims can be posted to any of the offices noted on the rear of the PATS forms.  You can still contact PATS with any enquiries by calling 1300 341 684 or emailing PATS@sa.gov.au, and make claims using the PATS online portal.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time as we take all necessary precautions to protect patients and members of the public from the virus.


More support for Regional patients

PATS has removed the limitation that disqualified people from receiving a PATS subsidy if they stayed more than two additional nights in commercial accommodation or more than five additional nights with family and friends.

We have also lifted the restriction that required patients to travel directly to and from their appointment.

Anyone eligible for a PATS subsidy who decides to extend their trip won’t be disqualified from receiving their payment.

PATS has also made changes to strengthen continuity of care for terminally ill patients.

PATS will now support people with a terminal condition who are seeing a medical specialist to continue to see that specialist, even if another specialist becomes available nearer to where they live.

This change applies to patients with a life expectancy of 12 months or less and will negate the need for someone to change their treating medical specialist during a challenging time for patients and families.

The changes were implemented from Monday 25 November by the PATS staff.

Access the PATS Media release, issued 25 November 2019.

    Further information

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

    Metropolitan Adelaide Hospital Guides