PATS eligibility

PATS assistance is only available to the nearest appropriate eligible medical specialist that meets the clinical timeframe specified by the treating medical specialist.

PATS does not differentiate between public or private specialists, nor between face-to-face consultations and telehealth consultations. If the nearest appropriate medical specialist appointment is available by telehealth, you will be assisted to attend that appointment if the appointment is more than 100 kilometres away.

If you choose to travel to a specialty that is available locally you will not be eligible for PATS subsidies.

Not being eligible for PATS does not stop you from arranging or attending your specialist medical appointments.


To be eligible for PATS you must:

  • Be a permanent resident of a WA Country Health Service region.
  • Be travelling to attend an eligible specialist medical service more than 100km (one way) or 70km (one way) for cancer or renal treatment from your residence.
    • You may be able to access the required medical specialist service closer to home or your specialist may be able to provide your appointment by telehealth to save you travelling.
    • Distance is calculated using the most direct or common route from your permanent residence to the nearest town centre and the commercial business district (CBD) of the treatment centre you are visiting.
  • Be receiving treatment from an eligible medical specialist for an eligible medical service.
    • A specialist medical service is defined as treatment from a medical practitioner who is registered with Medicare Australia as a specialist. These are listed in the Health Insurance Regulations 2018.

  • Be receiving treatment for an eligible specialist medical service.
    • Most specialist medical services covered by Medicare are eligible for PATS.

Referrals to other health professionals, for example allied health (speech pathology, physiotherapy, podiatry, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, audiology and pathology), dentists and nursing professionals are not covered by PATS.



You are not eligible for PATS if you:

  • Are travelling to the treatment centre for another reason, such as for a holiday or to visit friends and then need specialist treatment.
  • Live within the Perth area or live interstate and are holidaying in WA regional areas when you became unwell.
  • Are working temporarily in a WA regional area.
  • Are a FIFO worker.
  • Are on a bridging visa.
  • Are a student boarding for school or university and require medical treatment while living in the treatment centre (such as Perth). Note, a parent may be eligible for escort assistance to visit their child in the treatment centre (for example if a child is in hospital and requires an adult to make decisions).
  • Are eligible for alternative forms of assistance, such as through the Department of Veteran Affairs, workers compensation or other insurance, such as travel insurance.
  • Are in custody (jail).
  • Are not eligible for Medicare.
  • Travelling to a medical service is available locally including via telehealth.
  • Receiving treatment for a non-approved service. 
Last Updated: 15/04/2024