Medicare does not cover the cost of the provision of ambulance services.
Ambulance fees and charges are approved by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and are reviewed annually. The fees and charges below are current as at 1 July 2018
ACT Legislation places a legal obligation on the person receiving the ambulance service to pay the account:
Section 201 (2) of the Emergencies Act 2004 provides that “A fee determined by a service provided to a person by an emergency service is payable by the person even if the person did not ask for, or consent to, the provision of the service”.
Emergency Ambulance Services
These services are accessed by calling ‘000’
|Emergency ambulance service (treatment and transport)||
$959 (+$13/km for every km travelled outside the ACT)
Emergency ambulance service (treatment not including transport)
Medical treatment follows a set of guidelines set out by Emergencies Act 2004 and under the Act medical treatment means:
(a) undertaking a medical examination and assessment; or
(b) giving medical advice; or
(c) giving first aid; or
(d) undertaking a medical procedure; or
(e) administering medication.
Non-Emergency Ambulance Services
These services are booked services and can only be accessed following referral from a health service or health service provider. The requesting health service provider determines the level of service required.
|Non-emergency ambulance service (treatment and transport) by an Ambulance Paramedic or an Intensive Care Paramedic||$685 (+$13/km for every km travelled outside the ACT)|
Non-emergency ambulance service (treatment and transport) by Patient Transport Service resource
|$247 (+$5.20/km for every km travelled outside the ACT)|
The ACT Ambulance Service does not offer ambulance only cover directly. If you have private health insurance or ambulance only cover, please contact your health fund to have the account endorsed. Your fund will need to forward an endorsed copy of the invoice to:
Post to: ACT Ambulance Service
C/- Shared Services Accounts Receivable
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
Members of the public can compare registered health funds at privatehealth.gov.au.
If you already have private health insurance or ‘ambulance only’ cover with a registered health fund, then you may be covered for ambulance services.
We strongly advise that you check the specific terms of your policy with your registered health fund.
When purchasing private health insurance or ‘ambulance only’ cover, consider checking that you are you fully covered for:
- emergency ambulance services including the provision of treatment with no transport to hospital;
- non-emergency ambulance services should they be required by you or your family now or in the future.
I was an interstate or overseas visitor
NSW, NT, VIC, SA or TAS residents: If you are a member of and covered by your state ambulance service or private health fund please forward this invoice to your home state Ambulance Service or private health fund for verification of membership.
Please note that SA residents who are a member of the South Australian Ambulance Service Fund may need to check their level of cover with the service.
QLD residents: Please contact Queensland Ambulance Service on 1300 369 003 or via email at QASDebt@ambulance.QLD.gov.au
Overseas tourists: there is no reciprocal agreement for ambulance costs. Please pay your invoice by bank draft (made payable in Australian dollars). Request a receipt for your payment to claim through travel insurance if applicable.
Who does not have to pay for ambulance services in the ACT?
ACT School students who are injured or become ill at school or during approved school excursions within the ACT are entitled to free emergency ambulance services that includes medical treatment and ambulance transport.
Reciprocal arrangements are in place between ACT and NSW to cover school groups during approved school activities.
Pensioners and Concession Card Holders
Most full aged pension and health care concession card holders will be entitled to free of charge ambulances services within the ACT.
We recommend that you check your entitlements with Centrelink and/or the Department of Veterans Affairs, as some card holders may not be covered for all services.
Important if travelling: If you use ambulance services outside of the ACT you will receive an invoice for the service. Reciprocal arrangements exist for interstate services with the exception of services provided in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. If travelling to these states we strongly recommend taking out some form of ambulance cover.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, you will be sent an ambulance account when you are entitled to free ambulance services. Perhaps you were too ill for the relevant details to be collected by our intensive care paramedics, or your details were incomplete or illegible when the account was processed.
If you are an ACT Pensioner, Concession or Health Care Cardholder, please photocopy the front and back of your pension or health care card and return a copy with your ambulance account to the address provided or contact Shared Services Ambulance Finance on (02) 62079990.
Incidents involving a motor vehicle on an ACT road or road related area
Patients who are injured in a motor vehicle accident on an ACT road or road related area are entitled to free ambulance services as part of the road rescue fee component of the Compulsory Third Party Insurance.
Acts of Good Samaritans
Where the ACT Ambulance Service or ACT Shared Services Ambulance Finance is provided with evidence or can validate that an ambulance service charged to the person who performed a Good Samaritan act was as a direct result of performing a Good Samaritan act the charge may be exempt.
Persons in lawful custody
Where persons were in lawful custody or resided in a correctional facility at the time of service provision. A person is in lawful custody if they have been arrested and detained or imprisoned in a manner that has been authorised by law.
Minors under Care Orders
Ambulance Services are not payable by an entitled person as defined in the Children and Young People Act 2008.
Where ambulance services were provided to a person who was deceased or was unable to be resuscitated while in the care of ACTAS Officers.
Victims of domestic or family violence or sexual assault
Where the ACT Ambulance Service is provided with evidence or can validate that the ambulance service was provided to a person who required the service as a result of, and was a victim of, domestic or family violence or sexual assault.
If you will experience financial hardship as a result of receiving an ambulance account please contact Shared Services Ambulance Finance who can assess your circumstances and provide you with advice and options.
Email at SharedServicesAmbulanceFinance@act.gov.au or by phone on (02) 62079990.
Due to the nature of the ACT Ambulance Service’s business it interacts on a daily basis with people who are distressed, injured or in situations which give rise to personal stress. Such circumstances will not in and of themselves, be considered grounds for waiver. Financial hardship is often a component of exceptional circumstances but is not in and of itself grounds for consideration of an exceptional circumstances waiver.
Please note that evidence requirements may need to be met before an application can be considered by the Chief Officer of the ACT Ambulance Service.
Exceptional personal or other circumstances apply to a person to whom ambulance services were provided if the Chief Officer, ACT Ambulance Service, is satisfied any of the following situations exist:
- A charity, financial aid organisation, hospital or other social aid organisation provides evidence demonstrating that exceptional personal circumstances apply to the person and that requiring the person to pay would cause unreasonable personal and financial hardship to the person;
- The ambulance services were provided to a person aged under 18 years following an accident or other event that resulted in the person being the only survivor in their immediate family;
- A person had applied for, but not yet received, a relevant concession card prior to receiving the ambulance services, and the application for the card was subsequently approved (noting that holders of relevant concession cards are not charged for ambulance services);
- The ambulance service was provided to a person who is undergoing extensive and lifesaving medical treatment and who as a result is reliant on assistance from government or not-for-profit organisations in order to meet their basic costs of living and the requirement to pay for the ambulance services would cause unreasonable hardship;
- Any other circumstances exist that in the opinion of the Chief Officer should see the fee waived.
Applications under Financial Hardship or Exceptional Circumstances provisions
Applications for review of an ambulance account on the basis of financial hardship, other exceptional circumstances or because you are disputing the invoice must be made in writing, accompanied by any supporting documentation to Shared Services Ambulance Finance:
SharedServicesAmbulanceFinance@act.gov.au for consideration, or
Post to: ACT Ambulance Service
C/‐ Shared Services Accounts Receivable
GPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601
I was dissatisfied with the service provided
If you were dissatisfied with the service provided and wish to lodge a complaint please refer to the feedback section of the web-site under the ‘contact us’ tab at the top of the home page.