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"Patient Assisted Transport Scheme (PATS)"

About: Patient Assisted Travel Scheme - WACHS Kimberley

(as the patient),

PATS (Patient Assisted Transport Scheme) office in Kununurra booked flights to Perth only 7 days before I was due for an appointment, even though I'd supplied the paperwork and appointment details 2-3 weeks earlier and advised the PATS office that there were very few seats left on the flights in the 2 days prior to my appointment. I ended up having to fly 3 days early and stay in Perth for extra nights, at substantial cost. The minimal contribution towards accommodation (which I'm still waiting for, a month later) is nothing compared to the actual cost of staying in Perth. This could have been avoided if the flight was booked when I advised them that there were not many seats left. I work full time and had to belatedly arrange extra leave time etc. because the PATS office couldn't get organised early enough.

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Response from Margi Faulkner, Operations Manager, Broome, WACHS - Kimberley 6 years ago
Margi Faulkner
Operations Manager, Broome,
WACHS - Kimberley
Submitted on 23/06/2017 at 1:14 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 2:45 PM

picture of Margi Faulkner

Dear KimberleyKid,

I am sorry you were inconvenienced in your travel to Perth for your appointment. I can assure you the PATS staff work very hard to process the many referrals and bookings as efficiently as they can, but this does take some time to achieve. Given the number of referrals, time in liaison with patients and doctors regarding paperwork, and the booking of travel and accommodation the staff are required to undertake, they are often very busy. Where possible they do try to book a week in advance of the travel, but they often have to prioritise travel and accommodation for urgent requests, which come through with little time between referral and appointment due to the urgent nature of those appointments. As I'm sure you are aware, the pressure is even greater now in the Tourist Season.

The financial processing activities will usually mean it will take up to a month before reimbursement is received by patients. I am sorry if this was not explained to you at the time of your PATS consultation. The PATS Internet page has information and Frequently Asked Questions, which might be a useful reference for you and other patients using this service.

I do hope you are recovering now, and thank you for your feedback.


Margi Faulkner

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