Updated March 2018
As promised, here is my post on ambulance charges from state to state in Australia. Between the two of us, me and Google know everything! As my knowledge on ambo fees is restricted to Queensland, I turned to Google for the rest.
First, I downloaded a 21 page document from the Victorian Ambulance Service detailing who is responsible for ambulance charges. And there isn’t a single mention of costs whatsoever. It only answers the question about who pays the charges depending upon the type of journey, for example a journey could be from the community to a public hospital, or from a public hospital to a private hospital, or from a nursing home to a private hospital etc.
Oh dear, it’s going to be a long day. But here is what I came up with.
This post was written 4 December 2009. I have left the original information intact, but crossed it out when I updated this page March 2018. If you really need to know precise details of the latest fees, it is best to check it out directly with the health authority of the specific state or territory.
Here in Queensland we used to pay for our ambulance services by way of a levy which was paid each quarter, rather bizarrely I think, as an additional charge on our electricity bills. It was called “Community Ambulance Cover” and cost around
$24 per quarter. That changed in 2011 and now “Permanent Queensland residents are automatically covered for emergency pre-hospital ambulance treatment and transport Australia-wide.” Nice!
In New South Wales it will cost you
$301 $372 for the ambulance to turn up and $2.72 $3.35 for every kilometre travelled after that. For non-New South Wales residents, the fees are more, $714 for the callout and $6.44 per kilometre travelled. Non-emergency ambulances are a little cheaper, but it is not an emergency, you’d be better off getting a cab.
Tasmania quote an average of
$690 per journey but say that depending on the complexities, it could be as high as $4,000.
The good news for resident Tasmanians is that now, by and large, ambulances are free. As their state government says “When third party payment is not available, currently the Tasmanian Government chooses to waive the accounts for Tasmanian residents who require treatment and/or transport by ambulance within Tasmania and its islands.‘
For non-Tasmanian residents it is likely that you will receive an invoice, but it is complicated. For example, us Queenslanders will not pay for an ambulance in Tasmania, because we are covered for free Australia wide. For the latest information, it’s best to Google ‘Cost of an ambulance in Tasmania‘.
Victoria ambo fees apparently start at just over
$700 $1204 for metropolitan areas and $1776 for regional and rural emergencies. If you require the services of a fixed wing aircraft, the fixed charge is $2887 and if you need a helicopter, it can cost you up to $25,559. Ouch!
Western Australia quote fees of
$288 $510 or $475 $949 depending on priority, but of course you won’t get an air ambulance for that. If you are an Aged Pensioner, you may be covered for ambulance transport.
Australian Capital Territory quote around
$214 $936 for pickup and that includes the first 16 km of your journey and then $7 $12 for every km travelled outside the ACT. Family cover with the ACT Ambulance Subscription Fund is recommended.
South Australia fees have (apparently) recently risen from an average of around
$600 to more than $900, but even these fees may vary depending on priority at the time of dispatch. Seems an emergency call out for an ambulance is now $955 plus a $5.50 per kilometre charge. If you require the provision of a retrieval team, whatever that is, you can add $3215 to your bill.
Northern Territory c
harge $285 callout plus $4 per kilometre. The St John Ambulance Service in NT is now quoting around $745 – $1000 plus a per kilometre fee, but they highly recommend that you purchase Ambulance Cover. You can get full cover for the whole family for $125 a year and you can even buy 21 day holiday cover if you are just visiting.
I think that’s enough talk about ambo fees for now. It’s not been an easy subject to research and I can’t guarantee the accuracy of each of the figures above. But I’m sure you get the idea.
This is the idea I got.
If you come here to live in Australia, whichever state you decide to live in, get insurance to cover your ambulance costs. Then you can forget about $300 or $12,000 or whatever. Cover will cost you between
$50 $100 and $100 $200 per year for you and your family. Pay it and forget it.
Or move to Queensland and get it
with your electric for free!