Getting to treatment

It's a good idea to find out what help you can get to get to your cancer treatments and cancer appointments.

  • Talk to your treatment team about the National Travel Assistance Scheme if you need to travel long distances for treatment. Information on the scheme is available through the Ministry of Health website.
  • There may also be accommodation options available for you through the Cancer Society.


National Travel Assistance Scheme 

The National Travel Assistance Scheme helps people meet costs when they are referred by their specialist to see another specialist and need to travel long distances or travel frequently. The specialists must both be part of a government-funded health and disability service.

The Scheme is administered by district health boards (DHBs) who use the NTA policy to guide their decision-making according to the eligibility criteria.

Check your eligibility here

What the NTA covers


Travel costs

  • 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 treating department.)


Accommodation costs

  • 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 for travel less than 100 km one way.)


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.


Specialist approval

Your specialist may need to approve claims for some costs (for example, accommodation, support person and specialist transport).


How can the Cancer Society help you get to your cancer treatment

Your local Cancer Society offers a range of services for people with cancer and their families/whānau. Ask them about:

  • volunteer drivers providing transport to treatment
  • accommodation while you are having treatment away from home.

The range of services offered differs in each region. Contact your local Cancer Society.