Travelling interstate for specialist medical treatment?

Rollersk8r 23 March 2011 12

You may be eligible for reimbursement of travelling costs under the little-known Interstate Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (IPTAS). Basically if you need specialist treatment that’s not available in the ACT then Jon and Katy are happy to help with the costs of travel and accomodation etc.

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12 Responses to Travelling interstate for specialist medical treatment?
kakosi kakosi 10:41 pm 11 Jul 11

s-s-a said :

Application form needs to be signed by a local specialist not a GP certifying that the service required is not available in the ACT. The PP is correct that if the service is available but there is a massive wait time, too bad.

Not necessarily true, my mother needed surgery by a gynaecological oncologist and they do visit Canberra every so often for surgery but the wait would have been too long for a good survival rate – so when the Canberra Hospital doctors said they couldn’t do the complicated surgery her specialist gynaecologist organised for her to have the urgent surgery at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Sydney in the next week. They paid for the travel by plane but you are right about the accommodation costs for family being a very small amount. Luckily we didn’t have to stay there very long. We did have trouble getting Qantas to accept mum as a passenger back to Canberra after surgery – they were being arses about her needing a wheelchair to get to the plane.

beh1972 beh1972 8:51 am 24 Mar 11

I wish I had known this two weeks ago!

Last week I had to spend a night in Sydney for specialist day surgery because the waiting time in the ACT was utterly ludicrous.

The waiting time to see the specialist for an initial consultation in Canberra was one year to the day. Then I’d joint the waiting list for the surgery. In Sydney it was all done in three months, initial consultation – further testing – day surgery.

From what the specialist in Sydney told me, the guy I was referred to in Canberra couldn’t do this surgery anyway and he’d to refer me to a Sydney urologist anyway.

Wonder if I can still make a claim?

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 7:45 am 24 Mar 11

I wouldn’t have thought the intent of the scheme was to reimburse all costs, but rather to provide support for people when they need it.

Innovation Innovation 3:50 am 24 Mar 11

I used IPTAS about 10 years ago for regular ACT to Sydney travel as a carer for a very sick relative. I agree that funding could be improved but the administrative service was excellent. From memory, they contributed to the cost of bus or train travel or petrol and once, when we had to go urgently, they even contributed towards a hire car to get home.

cleo cleo 12:16 am 24 Mar 11

I knew about this, as my mother had to have an operation for cockularear, she lived in Mackay, and would go back to Brisbane for check ups, it’s not so straight forward, a lot of paperwork then.

I could have received treatment here, but the specialist here did not diagnose me, she said nothing was wrong, durrrr! I was really fed up, I had gone to many doctor’s here in Canberra, no one could diagnose me, I’m sure they thought it was in my head, one doctor told me to take up dancing, god knows how that was going to help me. I was in pain with other complications.
So I made an appointment with a specialist in Sydney, yay got diagnosed, not going crazy, NERVE DAMAGE, who would have thought, fell on my arse years ago and have damaged my tailbone.
What I would like to know is, if I could not be diagnosed here am I entitled to get the patient travel assistant scheme?

s-s-a s-s-a 11:46 pm 23 Mar 11

The PP is right, it doesn’t come close to the cost of accommodation. If you want petrol money, you have to keep original receipts from when you bought petrol (which I find bizarre considering some of the new diesel vehicles could make it to Sydney and back without a refill) but they still pay you per km??

Application form needs to be signed by a local specialist not a GP certifying that the service required is not available in the ACT. The PP is correct that if the service is available but there is a massive wait time, too bad.

Uhoh, the OP’s link says the guidelines are being reviewed (again). Check the rules just prior to travel to make sure the goalposts have not moved.

Usually their admin goes smoothly, but the most memorable time it wasn’t they managed to book the patient and carer on different flights. Which was interesting considering that airline regulations would not permit the patient to travel unaccompanied. Thankfully this mistake was noticed early enough to be fixed easily.

Mental Health Worker Mental Health Worker 8:43 pm 23 Mar 11

and it doesn’t even come close to the actual costs of accommodation…


inlymbo inlymbo 8:01 pm 23 Mar 11

It is a good scheme. Waiting lists, waiting times etc do not count as not available, just to clarify. It covers around $75 – $90 per night (in case of children one carer/parent receives this amount not both) and a reasonable cost for petrol.

It is usually something you find out about when you need it, our paediatrician told us about it. 🙂

In Exile In Exile 10:54 am 23 Mar 11

Was funded federally until 1987, budgets are now held by states/territories, but all of them have a scheme of some description.

clp clp 10:27 am 23 Mar 11

nope my mistake – I just knew it was used here and NSW

clp clp 10:26 am 23 Mar 11

I thought iptass was federally funded

The Frots The Frots 9:54 am 23 Mar 11

Interesting – I wasn’t aware of that. I know that if you have private insurance, such as HCF for example, you can receive some benefit from them – regardless of whether the treatement is available here in Canberra or not.

We find that either the waiting times are just absurd, or the treatment options are better in Sydney than they are in Canberra. I must say though that it’s the ‘waiting times’ that get us going. One particular specialist around near Civic is notorious for having 2-3 hour delays.

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