Ambulance Services

DVA Factsheet HSV120

Repatriation Transport Scheme

Ambulance Services

Overview

This Factsheet briefly describes arrangements for ambulance services for eligible veterans and war widows/widowers when they attend a health provider for Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) approved medical treatment.

Who is eligible?

Gold Card

Gold Card holders (Repatriation Health Card – For All Conditions) are eligible for ambulance services for the treatment of all health conditions, subject to their clinical need.

White Card (Australian veterans)

Australian White Card holders (Repatriation Health Card – For Specific Conditions) are eligible for ambulance services for the treatment of an injury or disease which has been accepted by DVA as war or service related, subject to their clinical need.

Australian White Card holders are also eligible for ambulance services for the following medical conditions with DVA approval, whether war-caused or not, subject to their clinical need:

 

  • malignant cancer (neoplasia)
  • pulmonary tuberculosis
  • post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • anxiety and/or depression.

White Card (overseas allied veterans)

A White Card is also issued to ex-service personnel who are eligible for treatment under agreements between the Australian Government and New Zealand, Canadian, South African and the United  Kingdom governments for disabilities accepted as war-caused by their country of origin.

Emergency use of an ambulance – when does DVA accept financial liability?
  • In a medical emergency, veterans and war widows/widowers with DVA treatment entitlements are eligible for ambulance transport to the nearest facility which meets their medical need.  DVA defines an emergency as a situation where a patient requires immediate treatment in circumstances where there is a serious threat to life or health.
  • If there is a medical emergency and a Local Medical Officer (LMO) is not available, you or someone acting on your behalf may order ambulance transport.
  • DVA will only pay for emergency ambulance transport for White Card holders when the purpose relates to your accepted disability.
Non-emergency use of an ambulance – when does DVA accept financial liability?

DVA will normally pay for a non-emergency ambulance trip if you meet one of the following criteria, subject to your treatment eligibility:

  • require transport on a stretcher
  • require treatment while in the ambulance
  • are severely disfigured
  • are incontinent to a degree that precludes the use of other forms of transport.

Note:  Transport will be to or from the nearest facility to your residence, whether temporary or permanent, which can attend to your medical needs in a timely manner.

Non-emergency ambulance services in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory

Ambulance services in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian  Capital Territory are arranged according to State or Territory health and ambulance authority guidelines. DVA’s prior authorisation is not required.

Non-emergency ambulance services in South Australia and Western Australia

Ambulance services in Western Australia are provided according to the arrangements between DVA and the ambulance suppliers in that State.

Ambulance services in South Australia require the LMO to contact DVA for prior authorisation before the veteran is transported in non-emergency situations.

Ambulance Services when travelling away from home within Australia

If you have been admitted to a hospital or medical centre when travelling away from the local area of your permanent residence, DVA will not pay for the journey to your permanent residence following your discharge from the hospital or medical centre.  This is a private matter and is your responsibility.  However, you may like to consider taking out private travel insurance to ensure you have adequate cover under these circumstances.  In addition, DVA will not pay for a transfer to a hospital closer to your permanent residence unless it is clinically necessary.

On discharge DVA will pay for transport from the hospital or medical centre to your temporary residence by the most appropriate form of transport which matches your medical need e.g. a private vehicle, taxi or ambulance.

Ambulance services for non medical purposes

DVA does not pay for ambulance services which may be required for non medical purposes.  An example would be the transfer of a frail aged veteran from one residential aged care facility to another via ambulance for personal reasons, such as moving residence where there is no clinical need to move.  This is a private matter and DVA is not responsible for this or other similar types of transport.

Other Factsheets

Other Factsheets related to this topic include:

  • HSV02 Entitlements under the Repatriation Transport Scheme
  • HSV03 Transport modes available under the Repatriation Transport Scheme
  • HIP80 Transport Information for Health Providers
  • HSV60 Repatriation Health Card – For All Conditions (Gold)
  • HSV 61 Repatriation Health Card – For Specific Conditions (White)
  • HSV129 Before you Travel.
More information

All DVA Factsheets are available from DVA offices, and on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au

You can phone DVA for the cost* of a local call on 133 254 or free call 1800 555 254 if you are outside a major city.

Note:   *Use a normal landline phone if you can.  Mobile phone calls may cost you more.  Local call rates vary depending on your phone service provider.

You can send an email to DVA at:  GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au.

You can get more help from any DVA office.