Help with travel and accommodation
Travelling away from home for tests and treatment can be distressing for both you and your family. Where possible, whenever you need to travel away from home, ask for assistance so someone can travel with you. It is better for family to be together as much as possible.
There is assistance for you and your family if you have to travel away from home for tests and/or treatment during your cancer journey. Your doctor, nurse or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker can help you get connected to services that offer assistance.
The Cancer Council has some information about help for travel and accommodation. You can call 13 11 20 and have a yarn with someone.
Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS)
All states and territories have Patient Assisted Travel Schemes (PATS). This help people in rural and remote Australia with travel costs for specialist treatment.
Wherever you live, PATS helps with:
- travel expenses for public transport
- somewhere to stay near treatment
- travel and a bed for a friend, family member or carer to be with you.
Some schemes also cover:
- costs of taxis to and from treatment
- an allowance – a bit of money to spend when you have to be away from home
- extra journeys for your friend, family member or carer.
Read this Guide to patient assisted travel schemes from the National Rural Health Alliance.
Read about PATS in your area:
- ACT: Interstate Patient Travel Assistance Scheme
- Northern Territory: Patient Assistance Travel Scheme
- NSW: Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme
- Queensland: Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme
- South Australia: Patient Assistance Travel Scheme
- Tasmania: Patient Travel Assistance Scheme
- Western Australia: Patient Assisted Travel Scheme and Interstate Patient Travel Scheme
- Victoria: Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme
Other help with travel
These organisations might help with travel for appointments and treatment:
- Australian Red Cross Transport
- Angel Flight Australia
- Royal Flying Doctor Service
- Leukaemia Foundation Patient Transport program – free for people with blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma – call 1800 620 420
- Can Assist helps ease the burden of cancer and can help with money and somewhere to stay for people with cancer from rural NSW. Call 02 8217 3400.
- Department of Veterans' Affairs
- Carer Gateway
- Some hospitals have community transport like a shuttle bus. Sometimes it’s free or there could be a small cost. Call the Cancer Council on 13 11 20 to ask if there is community transport near you.
Somewhere to stay
For help with somewhere to stay you can contact:
- Ronald McDonald House (children and their families)
- NSW only – Country Women's Association
- See here for more on rural and remote health services and support.
Some hospitals have free or cheaper car parking for people with cancer. Ask at the hospital.
For more help
Ask your local doctor, nurse or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker about help with travel and accommodation. They help many patients with this kind of request and will be able to either answer your questions or put you in contact with someone who can.