Have you heard of VPTAS?

Georgia Muegel

No, it’s not some new fancy accounting acronym.. it is a scheme offered by the Victorian Government to assist with travel costs associated with rural Victorians accessing specialist medical treatment. Let’s take a look at what it is.

The VPTAS process in a nutshell is:
– to be eligible you need to be a Victorian resident and live in a DHHS designated rural health region and be receiving specialist medical treatment
– the designated rural health regions are: Loddon Mallee, Grampians, Barwon South West, Gippsland and Hume
– for the travel to be eligible, need to travel more than 100km one way or an average of 500km a week for one or more weeks
– travel reimbursements are 21 cents per km if travelling by private car, reimbursements for public transport, air travel, taxi travel and accommodation in certain circumstances
– the first $100 is not reimbursed each treatment year
– you fill in a form of your trips (maximum of 4 per form) and have it signed by the medical practitioner and send it off to VPTAS for processing

For example, Jane Smith lives in Halls Gap area and she may have to travel to Ballarat for specialist treatment. Using google maps to get the distance travelled between Jane’s home and the medical centre and back, might be close to 375km round trip. The per km rate reimbursement is 21 cents, so that would be $78.75 reimbursement for that one trip. Given the cost of fuel these days, I don’t think anyone would say no to that money.

A full list of the eligibility criteria and information on the VPTAS process can be found here https://www.health.vic.gov.au/rural-health/victorian-patient-transport-assistance-scheme-vptas#eligibility-for-vptas