Thursday: review of PATS remote & rural assistance

By Helen Wilde

As the parent of a Type 1 diabetic child living in a country town with no Diabetes Educator, dietitian, endocrinologist etc., we as a family had to travel to the ‘big smoke’ every 12 weeks for my child to have bgl, ketones HbA1c etc properly tested, records looked at, problems or concerns discussed, and insulin etc. sorted at the Children’s hospital.

This was a costly exercise, and we were very relieved to discover a Government subsidy that was available to us.

I thought people may not know about this, so I have posted the weblink here.

The website gives a link to every Australian State scheme, so you can find which scheme is open to you depending on where you live. The subsidy is available to anyone with a chronic condition, so adults too, not just children. In addition, it is not means tested. There is provision if needed for a Carer to also be subsidised for trips to a larger centre when services are not available locally.

The website is provided by the Federal Government, and says in part:

“The Australian Government recognises that geographic isolation may inhibit access to specialist health care for people living in rural and remote Australia. Patient Assisted Travel Schemes (PATS) and other transport assistance are important mechanisms to support this access.

All Australian states and territories operate a PATS. These schemes provide a subsidy to assist with travel, escort and accommodation expenses incurred when rural and remote Australians travel over 100 kilometres to access specialised health care not available within a specified distance from their place of residence.

The Australian Government has no role in funding or delivering PATS services.

For further information of the PATS in your state or Territory please  check the rural health website for information (information current as at 21/06/2012):
– See more at: our forums here

Helen Wilde