Practical help getting through treatment
Here is some practical information that may help people having treatment and their families.
Click on the headings below to learn more.
If you go to a public hospital, your treatment will be free. You can’t choose your own doctor and you may be on a waiting list for treatment.
If you have private health insurance, the insurer will pay some of the costs, but you might have to pay part of the bill. You can choose where to get treatment and which doctor to see.
It’s common to worry about money when you have been diagnosed with cancer.
Ask your hospital social worker if Services Australia can provide help with money. Services Australia includes Centrelink and Medicare. Cancer Council might also be able to help your sort out money worries.
If you are paying for treatment, ask your doctor if you can pay a little bit at a time (instalments) or for more time to pay your bill.
Some people can get cancer treatment close to home, but other people have to travel to get treatment. This takes time and costs money.
Travelling for treatment
If you have to travel for treatment, there may be a program in your state or territory to refund some of your money. For example, in NSW a program called IPTASS (Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme) may help with the cost of travelling to treatment and accommodation if you have to travel more than 100 km each way for treatment or have several trips that total 200 km or more in a week.
The hospital social worker can help you apply. You may need to keep your original travel tickets, receipts and invoices.
Treatment closer to home
For treatment closer to home, you may be able to use community transport services or Cancer Council’s free Transport to Treatment service.
You might stay in hospital for treatment (inpatient) or come and go each day (outpatient).
If you are an outpatient, you might want to stay near the hospital. Ask the social worker if there is accommodation close by and if your family can stay too. You might be able find a local hotel, motel or hostel.