The Patient Assistance Travel Scheme (PATS) is a subsidy program that provides financial help for travel and accommodation expenses if you need to travel a long distance to see an approved medical specialist.
You must be referred by a medical professional to the nearest approved specialist.
The scheme covers all of the following:
- return fares to and from appointments
- accommodation costs of up to $60 each night
- ground transport costs - such as for taxis and buses - a maximum of $50 each trip will be paid when you provide a receipt/s
- you can claim 20 cents per kilometre if you drive more than 200km to an appointment.
Who can apply
To be eligible for the scheme you must:
- be an Australian citizen or permanent resident who has lived in the Northern Territory (NT) for six months or longer
- qualify for Medicare
- have a current referral to the nearest approved specialist medical service.
- live more than 200km away from the nearest approved specialist
- have to travel more than 400km in one week for renal or oncology treatment.
You are not eligible for PATS if:
- you are on holidays or business and normally live outside of the NT
- you are undertaking a journey to or from Australia
- your permanent residence is not in the NT - this includes fly-in-fly-out contractors
- you can claim compensation or cover from somewhere else, such as Worksafe, Department of Corrections, Department of Veterans' Affairs or motor vehicle compensation
- you do not have a Medicare card.