National Travel Assistance (NTA) is offered by the Ministry of Health and may help you to meet some of the costs if you have to travel to see specialists and for treatment.
You can claim assistance for travel if:
- You have a referral from a publicly funded specialist (eg, at your local hospital) for an appointment with another publicly funded specialist service (eg, another hospital).
- A specialist (at any publicly funded facility) says you need to visit them again you will be able to claim assistance.
And you meet the distance and frequency criteria, eg six appointments in six months and you live more than 50km from the hospital (one way).
The eligibility criteria for NTA are complex and the best starting point is the Ministry of Health Eligibility Checker:
What NTA covers
If you meet the criteria NTA may cover travel costs, accommodation and for you to bring a support person.
Your specialist needs to approve some of the costs such as accommodation.
- Assistance with travel costs may cover private vehicles, public transport and specialised transport needs (for example, taxi, mobility taxi or air travel). Mileage is calculated via the shortest practical route from your residential address to the facility or hospital where you are receiving treatment.
- Accommodation costs may include payment towards the cost of a motel room, or an allowance when staying with friends and family. Accommodation is not usually approved if you live under 100 km from the hospital.
Support person's costs
- You may able to claim assistance towards a support person's costs – for example, if the specialist recommends you have a support person to assist you with clinical decision-making or provide physical support.
- When a child is eligible for travel and accommodation assistance, they’re automatically eligible for assistance towards a support person's costs.