Eligibility FAQs

Am I eligible for PATS?

Go to Am I eligible for full information on eligibility criteria.

How will my eligibility be assessed?

Your local PATS office will assess your PATS application against the PATS Guideline  to determine your eligibility.

The information you provide will be used to decide your eligibility.

I don't quite fit the elibility criteria for PATS but I still need financial assistance, what should I do?

If you are not eligible for PATS but you still meet the intent of the scheme – that is, you are a country resident who needs to travel for specialist treatment – you may have your application approved as an Exceptional Ruling.

An Exceptional Ruling is made by the Regional Director. You need to provide as much supporting information as you can to support your claim. This may include letters from your doctor or other specialist, copies of appointments letters, information from Centrelink, or anything else that may help the Regional Director make a decision. Every Exceptional Ruling is made on its merits, and does not form a precedent for future decisions.

Talk to your local PATS office to find out how to apply for an Exceptional Ruling.

Are non WA regional residents eligible for PATS?

No. Only patients who are permanent WA regional residents are eligible for PATS. You must have a permanent WA regional residential address.

If you do not have a permanent WA regional residence and are travelling for business or holidays (including FIFO workers and grey nomads) you are not eligible for PATS.

Is PATS means tested?

No. PATS subsidies are available to all eligible patients.  

I'm seeing a private specialist.  Am I eligible for PATS assistance?

Yes. There is no distinction between public and private specialists for the purposes of PATS. You just need to be going to the closest available specialist service.

Sometimes the closest available service is a private specialist. If seeing a private specialist causes you significant financial difficulty, talk to your local PATS office. You may be able to travel to a public specialist (even if they are not the closest) through an Exceptional Ruling.

I want to travel to a different specialist that is further away.  Will PATS assist me?

No. PATS only provides a subsidy for travel to the nearest medical specialist.

Can I travel to see a specialist if there is a similar specialist I can see locally through telehealth?

No. If the specialty you need is available and appropriate to be delivered through telehealth, you are only eligible for PATS for assistance to get to the telehealth appointment.

I've been seeing my specialist for years, but now there is a specialist travelling closer to home.  Can I still see my original specialist?

You can’t get PATS assistance to travel to your original specialist if there is a closer one, unless there are clinical reasons for you to do so.

Can I get PATS assistance for a second opinion or for participating in clinical trials or experimental treatment?

You can only get PATS assistance for a second opinion if the first specialist you see refers you, or there is a clinical reason it is needed.

You can’t get PATS assistance for participating in clinical trials or experimental treatment.