PATS Aboriginal Engagement Strategy

Supporting a greater uptake of PATS for Aboriginal clients

The strategy will play a key role in providing better health outcomes for Aboriginal clients by working with key Aboriginal organisations to reimburse patients for travel, and improving engagement with Aboriginal patients and their carers at all points of their journey.

Media Release

Extra Support for Aboriginal Patients

“A review found that despite Aboriginal South Australians in regional areas having relatively low health status, only one percent of Aboriginal patients applied for subsidies through PATS, which clearly shows we are missing opportunities to reimburse patients,” said Minister Wade.

The strategy has identified key areas to ensure the scheme is more accessible, more flexible, easier to understand and provides better support for Aboriginal patients travelling for medical treatment.

When there are unavoidable financial costs for Aboriginal patients who have no option but to travel long distances to receive a specialist medical service, we want to support them to get the health care they need.

Rural Support Service Executive Director, Debbie Martin, said the strategy was developed through consultation with staff, Aboriginal organisations and agencies.


For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients

PATS has introduced a number of improvements which will allow the scheme to become more flexible and accessible to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients travelling for medical treatment in South Australia.

How does it benefit me?

If you are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients:

  • you will receive subsidies in advance
  • you will no longer need to provide your concession card for the first night of accommodation
  • you will be automatically approved for travel escort subsidies
  • your advocacy agency can receive a grant to support you in completing online claim forms

Subsidies in advance

All Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients who are travelling to appointments with specialists are eligible to receive their funding before they travel, providing PATS receives paperwork prior and after treatment.

Approval for escort subsidies

 If you need an escort you will no longer require approval by the treating specialists. Only one escort can be accepted by PATS for a subsidy.


Major with his grandchildren


Aboriginal Advocacy Support Grant

The Aboriginal Advocacy Support Grant of $100 is paid per approved claim.

This is provided to advocacy agencies which support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients in completing PATS forms, booking any travel and accommodation with the agencies equipment e.g. computer and internet, to make an online lodgement.

How do I register for a grant?

To register your organisation, please complete the Grant Application Form and email it to us at

Already registered ?

If you are already registered to receive the grant, please click on the link below to create your online account.  Once you completed the online form you will receive an email with your log in details.