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.
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 1MB).
Access the PATS online calculator tool to determine the distance you travel from your permanent place of residence to specialist medical services.
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 CHSAPATS@sa.gov.au
Paper-based PATS forms are still available if you need them and can be accessed below.
- Section 1 for Local Doctors (PDF 76KB)
- Section 2 for Specialists (PDF 77KB)
- Section 3 for Patients (PDF 87KB)
- Section 4 for Block Treatment (PDF 82KB)
New / Updates
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.
The PATS Guidelines for Assessment is currently being reviewed and updated to reflect these changes.
Access the PATS Media release, issued 25 November 2019.
Contact the PATS team on:
Phone: 1300 341 684