Travel for a client's treatment

Last updated: 
24 February 2020

We can organise transport for our clients to attend a medical appointment. We can also assist with clients' reimbursement for travel expenses to medical appointments.

The travel arrangements we offer

We offer transport options such as:

  • Booked Car with Driver (BCWD) Scheme. Under BCWD contracted taxi or transport provider may take a client to or from an medical appointment.
  • Reimbursement of travel expenses. We may reimburse travel expenses including transport, meals and accommodation. We may also reimburse some costs for a medially required attendant.
  • Ambulance transport for emergency and non-emergency transport.
  • NSW Country Taxi Voucher Scheme (CTVS). A scheme where country general practitioners (GPs) can issue taxi vouchers to clients living in country areas of NSW. Vouchers can only be used if the client is travelling to a treatment location, and only in country New South Wales.

Booked Car with Driver Scheme

We provide transport for eligible veterans to travel to and from medical appointments. We contract local taxis and hire cars to transport the clients. We can arrange a wheelchair accessible vehicle when required.  

You can make bookings and return trips for:

  • future dates
  • the same day as an existing booking
  • right now

As a health provider you can arrange transport on behalf of a client. You can do this by:

Arranging transport online

The online transport booking system is a quick way for health providers to arrange transport for eligible clients.

Information on registering and how to make online bookings is available at the Online transport booking system.

For inquiries about accessing the system, please email hponline [at] dva.gov.au

Arranging transport by phone

Call 1800 550 455 to:

  • make transport bookings on behalf of a client
  • report any transport issues or complaints

Return transport

Generally the transport provider that delivers the client to a medical appointment will transport them home afterwards. It may not always be the same driver.

The client or their health provider must contact the transport provider or us to arrange this return travel.

Travel limits

We arrange transport to the Closest Practical Provider (CPP). The CPP is the health provider who is:

  • closest to a client’s permanent or temporary residence
  • able to provide the appropriate medical treatment
  • recognised as an approved health provider by us

Eligibility

Veteran Gold Card holder 

We can take your client to all our approved treatment locations if they are a Veteran Gold Card holder who is any of the following:

  • aged 80 years of age or over
  • legally blind, regardless of their age
  • suffering from dementia, regardless of their age

Veteran White Card holder 

We can take your client to approved treatment locations if they are a Veteran White Card holder who is either:

  • travelling to receive treatment for an accepted service-related condition or conditions
  • travelling to receive treatment for a condition accepted under Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC)

They also must be 1 of the following:

  • aged 80 years of age or over
  • legally blind, regardless of their age
  • suffering from dementia, regardless of their age

Clients aged 79 years or younger

Veteran Gold or White Card holders aged 79 years or younger can receive BCWD services to attend medical treatment if they meet all the following:

  • they are travelling to receive treatment for their accepted service-related condition or conditions
  • they are travelling to a specific treatment location
  • they have 1 or more of the specific medical conditions resulting in the need for taxi travel

They can only travel to these specific locations:

  • former Repatriation General Hospitals
  • public and private hospitals, including outpatient services
  • providers of prosthetics, surgical footwear and orthotics
  • Office of Hearing Services accredited providers
  • medical specialist rooms
  • radiology, imaging and pathology services

Travel to specific treatment locations does not include:

  • General Practitioners (GP)
  • Dental providers
  • Allied health services
  • Optical dispensers
  • Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling

Clients will need to pay for their own transport to attend these locations.

They must be travelling for 1 or more of these specific medical conditions:

  • psychosis
  • hemiplegia
  • ataxia
  • respiratory insufficiency severely limiting independent activity
  • cardiac failure severely limiting independence
  • recent coronary occlusion severely limiting independence
  • peripheral vascular disease severely limiting independence
  • amputation severely limiting independence
  • arthritis severely limiting independence
  • recent surgery severely affecting your capacity to use public transport
  • conditions that would cause you to be gravely embarrassed or that are unacceptable to other passengers on public transport e.g. incontinence of bladder or bowel, severe deformity or disfigurement
  • significant trauma or
  • frailty that severely limits your independence

Travel with an attendant

An attendant is any person who is:

  • responsible
  • competent
  • physically able to assist the client while they are travelling to treatment

They do not have to be medically qualified.

We are not able to reimburse an attendant's:

  • travel between their house and the client's home
  • any lost wages

We do not reimburse costs for a qualified attendant such as a nurse escort.

This does not include occasions when the client:

  • travels by ambulance
  • is receiving treatment as an inpatient at a hospital

Reimbursement of travel expenses

We may provide financial assistance to our clients travelling for medical treatment. We can provide reimbursement for:

  • travelling expenses
  • meals
  • accommodation

This only applies for medical treatment within Australia.

Reimbursement of travel expenses

We may reimburse the cost of travelling expenses for the use of:

  • private vehicles
  • privately arranged taxi transport
  • air travel
  • public or community transport
  • meals
  • accommodation

For further information regarding reimbursement of travelling expenses please see Claim travel expenses under the RTS

Eligibility

We will provide assistance with travelling expenses to medical treatment for clients who hold:

  • a Veteran Gold Card under the VEA
  • A Totally & Permanently Incapacitated Gold Veteran Card
  • a Veteran White Card under the VEA for accepted conditions

Eligibility under other Acts

Please contact us to discuss individual travel entitlements if a client is eligible under the following Acts:

  • Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA)
  • The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA)
  • Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests and British Commonwealth Occupation Force (Treatment) Act 2006
  • Treatment Benefits (Special Access) Act 2019

How a client can be reimbursed

Before we can reimburse a client for their travel expenses, they will need to:

Limits to travel expenses

When we reimburse a client's travel expenses, we look at their Closest Practical Provider (CPP).

The CPP is the health provider who is:

  • closest to a client’s permanent or temporary residence
  • able to provide the appropriate treatment
  • recognised as an approved health provider by us

If the client travels to their CPP, we will reimburse them their travel costs.

If the client travels to a provider who is not their CPP, we may only reimburse some of their travel costs. We will take the distance to their CPP into consideration when we work out how much to reimburse.

Long distance transport

We may arrange air or train transport when necessary to the client's needs. We may also reimburse the client and their attendant for the cost of:

  • transport
  • accommodation
  • meals

Ambulance Transport

Emergency ambulance transport

In a medical emergency, we advise you to dial 000 to request ambulance transport. If there is a medical emergency, we can pay for our clients to travel by ambulance to their nearest clinical facility.

Non-emergency ambulance transport

We will pay for non–emergency ambulance transport if the client meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • requires transport on a stretcher
  • requires treatment during transport
  • is severely disfigured
  • is incontinent to a degree that makes the other use of transport impossible

The client can only use this transport when going to and from their current residence and the nearest clinical facility that can treat them. 

Non–emergency ambulance transport can be organised by:

  • A General Practitioner (GP)
  • hospital physician
  • hospital discharge planner

NSW Country Taxi Voucher Scheme

General Practitioners (GP) in country NSW can issue taxi vouchers. These are available for clients who need help when travelling for treatment. Vouchers can be issued:

  • when medically necessary for the client
  • at our request

This Scheme does not operate in the metropolitan areas of

  • Sydney
  • Canberra
  • Wollongong

The client cannot use the vouchers to travel into either Victoria or Queensland.

When issuing taxi vouchers it is important to note:

  • taxi vouchers should be issued only to clients who have a medical need
  • travel must be to the closest practical health provider
  • travel must be with one of our contracted transport providers

If a client requires urgent travel for treatment outside of our normal business hours and a taxi voucher is not available, they should:

  • phone their local contracted transport provider
  • advise their journey details and DVA file number

We will arrange payment of this journey direct with the contracted transport provider.

Contracted transport providers

A list of our NSW country contracted transport providers is available here.

Information for Transport Providers

The Guidelines for Transport Contractors is for those providers who entered into contractual arrangements with us.

We oversee the performance of our contracted transport providers and monitor:

  • handback of journeys
  • punctuality
  • driver behaviour
  • any feedback received from our clients

This information may be used by us to determine the volume of work we allocate.

Transport Booking and Invoicing System - Areas of Operations

The following links are to our Transport Booking and Invoicing System (TBIS). The areas in these links are specific to our clients. They may change to ensure reliability of service for our clients.

Areas of operation: