DescriptionThe Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS) helps eligible people living in rural or regional Victoria with the cost of travelling long distances for specialist medical services. The scheme contributes to the cost of travel (including petrol for private cars, public transport fares and air and taxi travel reimbursement) and accommodation (if required).
Assistance may also be provided to Victorian residents who are referred to an interstate specialist when the service is not available in Victoria or if it is the nearest location. The specialist must confirm in writing that you can’t get the service in Victoria.
- Travel reimbursement
- Accommodation subsidy
You may be eligible for subsidies if: you live in rural Victoria; your treatment is included in the list of eligible medical specialist treatments; you need to travel 100 kilometres or more one way or you need to travel (on average) 500 kilometres per week for five or more weeks in a row.
Only the direct routes from your home address to the appointment and back to your home address are covered. No other travel is included. Refer to the rural areas map on the Department of Health and Human Services website to see if your home location qualifies.
How to access
- TTY users, call, then ask for 1300 737 073
- Speak and Listen users, call then ask for 1300 737 073
- Internet relay users, connect to the , then ask for 1300 737 073.
CostsIf you are eligible for travel support you will receive:
- approximately 17 cents per kilometre if a private car is used (check with VPTAS)
- full economy class fare reimbursements for public transport
- air travel reimbursement – only if the journey exceeds 350 kilometres one way and a commercial flight is used
- taxi travel reimbursement – only to or from the nearest public transport when there are no other transport options.
If you are not the primary card holder of an approved pensioner concession card or health care card, you will pay the first $100 each treatment year for your travel and accommodation. After that time, you will get full assistance from VPTAS for the remainder of that treatment year. A treatment year starts at the date of your first appointment with your specialist (Note: costs are current at date of publishing and may change).
- Your local doctor can provide a referral to the closest specialist available to you. If you choose to travel to a different specialist, the subsidies will be worked out as if you were seeing the closest specialist.
- Your specialist will need to complete part of your claim form for the number of nights of accommodation required.
- Your specialist may also approve an escort (partner/carer) to accompany you. They must be 18 years of age or older.
- If you are applying for assistance because the service you need is not available in Victoria, your specialist must confirm this in writing.