Travelling to treatment can be a challenge, even more so if your treatment centre is not close to home. There are travel services available to people affected by cancer in both metropolitan and regional areas.
Is it a good idea to ask your treatment centre if there are any transport services available to help you get to appointments.
Help for people living in rural and regional areas
If you are affected by cancer and live in regional and rural Victoria, you may be able to get help to pay for travel and accommodation you need in Melbourne as part of your diagnosis and treatment. This help comes from the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS).
VPTAS is a government subsidy scheme that provides funding for some of the costs involved in travelling for specialist cancer treatment that you cannot access in your local area.
Speak to the social workers at your hospital or treatment centre to get help from VPTAS. You can also call VPTAS directly on 1300 737 073 or visit their website for more information.
Visit VPTAS website
Questions to ask about this service
When looking at a service it is important to ask questions about how the service works before you decide to engage with them. Below is a list of questions you might like to ask when enquiring about a service.
Am I eligible?
Some services have specific criteria that a person must meet before they are able to use a service, for example location, means testing or a specific cancer type. It is important to know if you are eligible to access a service right from the start.
Do I need a referral?
Some services require a referral from your specialist, GP or a social worker. This helps to make sure that the right patients are being connected with the right services. It’s a good idea to ask if a referral is needed and if so, exactly what type of referral the service requires.
How much will this cost me?
Some services are free, and some come at a cost. At a time when people should be focused on their treatment and recovery, the cost of cancer can be a source of stress and worry for many. It’s a good idea to ask about the fees attached to a service and if there are any subsidies or benefits you might be eligible for before committing to the service. It’s important to know that you are within your rights to ask about the cost of a service or treatment before agreeing to take part. For more information you can visit cancer and your finances.
Is there a wait time?
Sometimes demand for a service is high which can cause wait times. You might find it helpful to ask if there are any wait times for the services you are looking at, especially if you require support as soon as possible.
What services do you offer?
Some organisations provide a range of services for people affected by cancer, their family, friends and carers. It is a good idea to ask about exactly what services are available to you.
There are many things you can do to reduce the costs and stress of parking. Prior to your visit:
- Ask the hospital about different parking options before your first visit. There may be onsite parking, street parking and private carparks near the hospital.
- Ask about parking rates prior to your visit and if any concessions are available. If you have a government concession card or are attending frequent appointments, you may be eligible for discounted car parking. Each hospital will have different concessions. Talk to your treatment team about how to access them.
- Allow enough time to find a car park and walk to your appointment.
- Ask how far the walk is from the parks to the hospital or use an online mapping tool like Google maps.
- Investigate public transport options available around the hospital. Speak with the hospital or call Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007 or visit www.ptv.vic.gov.au
Search for a service