Key messages

  • Feedback on the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS) is important in order to improve the scheme.
  • Complaints or compliments can be made on the phone or in writing.
  • A claim review must be submitted within three months from receiving notification that the claim has been declined.

The Department of Health & Human Services is seeking feedback on how the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS) could better support rural access by Victorians to the specialist medical services they need.

By learning about any concerns you may have about VPTAS the process can be improved for all Victorians who need to use the scheme. You can provide feedback by making a complaint or compliment about the VPTAS.

You can also request a review in relation to a specific claim you submitted to the VPTAS office for travel and/or an accommodation for you or an escort.

Make a complaint or compliment

As a first step, please call the VPTAS office.

If your issue or query cannot be resolved at this point you can lodge a written request. There is no charge for this. Put your issue in writing and send it by post or email to the VPTAS manager.

Request a claim form review

Your VPTAS claim form review needs to be done within three months of receiving notification from the VPTAS office that part or all of the claim has been declined.

Put your request in writing and send any additional information that will substantiate your review request.

You do not need to include your original claim, travel diary or receipts that you have previously sent to the VPTAS office.

VPTAS complaint or request for review process

A two-stage complaints and review process has been established to provide a fair and transparent process.

Stage 1: Notification of your complaint/claim review request

  • The VPTAS manager will consider your complaint or review request against the VPTAS guidelines in operation at time of lodgement of the original claim.
  • All complaints and requests for review will be acknowledged by mail within one week of receipt.
  • The VPTAS manager will provide written advice about the outcome of your review to you within one month (30 days) of the request for review being received by the VPTAS office.
  • Your privacy and confidentiality will be respected at all times in accordance with the Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic), the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic).

Stage 2: Forward complaint/claim review to the department

  • If you have raised your concerns with the VPTAS manager and are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you can forward your complaint to the Department of Health & Human Services’ Complaints and Privacy Unit.
  • The Complaints and Privacy Unit will advise the VPTAS office that your complaint has been received and will be investigated. A senior manager will review and investigate your concerns and how the department has responded.

Victorian Ombudsman

If you remain unsatisfied with the response to your complaint or request for a claim review, you can lodge a complaint with the Victorian Ombudsman.

The Victorian Ombudsman is an independent officer of the Victorian Parliament. The Ombudsman’s office investigates complaints about administrative actions taken by Victorian Government agencies, including departments such as the Department of Health & Human Services and its VPTAS office.

The Ombudsman will generally only accept a complaint after the department has responded to your complaint or review request (Stages 1 and 2). In general, complaints need to be submitted in writing.

Brochures to assist non-English-speaking people who want to access the office of the Victorian Ombudsman are available in the 19 most common languages spoken in Victoria.

What happens to the information collected about complaints and reviews?

The investigation of your complaint or request for review may involve sharing your personal information with other relevant areas within the Department of Health & Human Services to achieve resolution.

Statistical information regarding complaints and suggestions is also used to improve the way the VPTAS office processes travel and accommodation claims and to better understand needs of rural Victorians when travelling for medical specialist services.

The use of your information for these purposes is carefully controlled to ensure that it is done in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Health Records Act 2001.

For more information, refer to the VPTAS guidelines.

Contact details