People living in regional, remote and rural areas who need to travel for medical treatment will now get more financial support to get to and from their specialist health appointments.
The fuel subsidy for the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme – called PATS for short – has doubled from 16c to 32c per kilometre, effective for appointments from 1 January 2023.
PATS provides financial assistance towards people’s transport and accommodation costs when they’re required to travel more than 100km each way to access necessary medical specialist services that are not available locally.
This increase means that somebody travelling from Port Augusta to Adelaide will receive approximately $200 back for their fuel cost for the return trip, depending on their actual home address.
It’s great news for the many thousands of people living in regional and rural areas who access the scheme now or may need to travel for medical treatment in future. Last year more than 13,000 South Australians received money back through PATS and with the rising costs of living and increasing fuel costs, we know how important this subsidy is to people living in regional and remote communities.
Approved escorts are also eligible for PATS and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people travelling to specialist appointments may be eligible to receive additional supports.
People are encouraged to check their eligibility and apply for subsidies by submitting a claim at www.pats.sa.gov.au. Paper forms are also available online or at GP clinics. PATS also has five offices located in regional SA Hospitals including Mount Gambier, Berri, Port Augusta, Whyalla and Port Lincoln.