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Patient travel subsidy scheme

Directive number: QH-HSD-050:2019

Effective date: 01 July 2019

Review date: 01 July 2021

Supersedes: N/A

On this page:


To administer the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) consistently across Queensland and to optimise support to patients accessing healthcare services in an effective and efficient manner.


This directive applies to all Hospital and Health Services (HHSs).


  • Accessibility—the scheme and information pertaining to the scheme shall be accessible (available and understandable) to staff and the public
  • Consistency—the scheme is applied consistently across Queensland
  • Efficiency—the scheme promotes the efficient use of public resources across Queensland
  • Equity—the scheme facilitates equitable access to specialist healthcare services across Queensland
  • Patient-centred approach—the health and wellbeing of patients is integral to the PTSS decision-making process and decisions are made with empathy
  • Patient safety—the safety of patients is a key consideration in patient travel decisions
  • Subsidy—the scheme does not cover full costs of travel and accommodation


HHSs shall achieve the following outcomes:

  • Minimise unnecessary travel by patients through optimal use of alternatives, including telehealth where appropriate.
  • Implement the PTSS in accordance with the protocol and guidelines issued by the Chief Executive (Director-General, Queensland Health).
  • Assess and manage PTSS applications consistently with a patient-centred focus, facilitating equitable access to specialist healthcare services across Queensland.
  • Administer the PTSS in a manner which elicits the necessary data and information to monitor compliance with the scheme.

Mandatory requirements

  • The first consideration when assessing an application shall be whether there is an alternative to travel, including consultation via telehealth where appropriate.
  • A subsidy payment claim under the scheme shall be assessed and managed in accordance with the Protocol for Administration of the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme and the Guideline for the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.
  • HHSs shall have a documented process for administering the scheme that aligns with the Protocol for Administration of the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme and the Guideline for the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.
  • HHSs shall establish and maintain a procedure that ensures timely, accurate and consistent processing of claims. Payment of approved subsidies shall be made within 30 business days of all necessary documentation being submitted to the HHS.
  • Financial recording and reporting shall be completed in accordance with the Funding and Reporting Guidelines 2018-2019, including the use of the appropriate general ledger codes for patient travel expenses in the Chart of Accounts.
  • Compliance with this directive shall be reviewed no less than every 12 months through the service agreement process. The outcome of these reviews shall be shared with the department for analysis and quality improvement purposes.
  • Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011
  • Financial Accountability Act 2009
  • Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009

Supporting documents

Business area contact

  • Business Partnerships and Improvement Branch, Corporate Service Division


This Health Service Directive will be reviewed prior to 1 July 2021

Date of last review: N/A

Supersedes: New Directive

Approval and implementation

Directive Custodian

Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services Division, Department of Health.

Approval by Chief Executive

Michael Walsh, Director-General, Queensland Health

Approval date: 7 June 2019

Issued under section 47 of the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.

Definitions of terms used in this directive

Term Definition / explanation / detailsSource
Business area contact A business unit, reporting to the chief executive, that acts as the central point of contact in the department of the chief executive, for the purpose of consultation QH
Chief executive Chief executive of the department (Director-General, Queensland Health) administering the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 QH
Hospital and Health Service (HHS) The HHSs are statutory bodies and are the principal providers of public sector health services QH
Mandatory requirements Listed in a health service directive, specific compulsory actions to be carried out by a HHS QH
Telehealth A statewide videoconferencing service to help improve patient access to healthcare in their community. More information is provided at Telehealth

Version control

VersionDate Prepared byComments
v1 12/6/2019 KR, Business Partnerships and Improvement Branch, Corporate Services New HSD
Last updated: 1 July 2019