Ambulance fees

Western Australia operates a 'user pays' ambulance services that requires patients to pay for the high-quality care they receive. St John WA's fees are set in agreement with the WA Department of Health.

There are circumstances where you might not be responsible for the bill or the full amount. Visit our Pay My Bill page for more information.

Key information

  • The patient is responsible for paying their ambulance bill.

  • St John WA’s fees are set in agreement with the WA Department of Health.

  • There are circumstances where you might not be responsible for paying the bill or the full amount. Visit our Pay My Bill page for more information.

Transport fees

Ambulance service fees reflects the cost to deliver a high standard of care, invest in trained paramedics, staff, fully equipped ambulances, maintenance and logistics to ensure we can respond to the entire West Australian community.

Service fees for WA residents* 
Life threatening (Emergency - Priority 1)$1,133
Urgent (Priority 2)$1,133
Non-urgent (Priority 3)$609
Patient Transfer Vehicle (Booked Priority 4)$609

The below prices apply to non-WA residents. You may be able to seek reimbursement from your State or Territory ambulance service, health insurance fund or travel insurance provider.

Service fees for Non-WA residents* 
Life threatening (Emergency - Priority 1)$1,355
Urgent (Priority 2)$1,355
Non-urgent (Priority 3)$1,202
Patient Transfer Vehicle (Booked Priority 4)$609

*St John charges a fixed rate for emergency response in locations where paramedics are present. This represents 94% of all emergency ambulance cases in WA. About 6 per cent of emergency ambulance cases in Western Australia are undertaken by volunteer crews in regional and remote areas. These are charged at a variable rate based on distance. For details on fees you can contact our support team at (08) 9334 1212 or email billing@stjohnwa.com.au

Need some help?

Our Finance Customer Service Team are ready to help. Get in touch now:

Call us on (08) 9334 1212

Or email billing@stjohnwa.com.au

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Frequently asked questions

What are the fees for ambulance services?
Ambulances are not a free service in Western Australia and patients are required to pay for the high quality of care they receive. St John WA's fees are set in agreement with the Department of Health.
What determines the cost of the ambulance service?
St John Ambulance provides ambulance services around Western Australia every day of the year. This service is provided on a user-pay basis and reflects the cost to deliver a high standard of care, invest in trained paramedics, fully equipped ambulances etc. to ensure we can respond to the entire West Australian community. 

Each Australian State and Territory operates a different model of ambulance service.

In Western Australia the State make a co-contribution to reduce the fee that is charged to user, this makes WA the lowest cost to patients for emergency transport where a fixed fee is charged. 
Why doesn't St John bill directly to health funds?
St John is not able to bill directly to health funds. If you have received a bill and need to lodge a claim with your insurer prior to paying the bill, please contact us and provide the details of your claim (9334 1212 or billing@stjohnwa.com.au). We will be put your account on hold for up to four weeks.

If you are covered for Ambulance Services through your private health insurance, please act promptly to lodge your claim with your insurer to enable payment by the due date. St John cannot do this on your behalf.
Do WA residents over the age of 65 who do not hold a Pension have to pay for an ambulance service?
WA residents who are aged 65 and over, but who do not receive an Australian Government Pension from Centrelink, are partially subsidised by the State and are only liable for 50 per cent of their ambulance fee by.

There may be an exception where a transfer between hospitals when one or both of the hospitals is private.

Find our more on our Pensioner / Over 65 page.
Does Medicare cover the cost of an ambulance service?
No, Medicare does not cover ambulance services. 
Why doesn’t St John offer membership in the metro area?
Unfortunately, it is not feasible for St John WA to have a benefit fund. “Ambulance only” policies are available through the major health funds.
Why wasn't I made aware of the charges when I called for an ambulance?
When taking a Triple Zero (000) call, the primary concern is the condition of the patient. It is not practical for Communications Officers to discuss costs at the time of taking the call, or phone the paramedics to discuss during attendance. 

There are also many factors which can affect the end cost to a patient, including whether they have ambulance cover, what level of cover they have and it covers them for, whether the patient is entitled to any pension/DVA discounts and the emergency classification of the ambulance.
Are there discount arrangements for WA Pensioners?
WA residents over the age of 65 years old who hold a valid Pension Concession Entitlement are entitled to free ambulance services when the service is medically necessary. The exception to this is a transfer between hospitals where one or both is a private hospital.

For WA residents under the age of 65 who hold a valid WA Pension Concession Entitlement, medically necessary transports are partially subsidised by the State and patients are only liable for 50% of the fee. 

Find our more on our Pensioner / Over 65 page.
Can I insure myself against the costs of an ambulance service?
Yes. Contact a private health provider to explore ‘ambulance only’ cover, which starts from approximately $100 per year for emergency transport. Please ensure to arrange a level of Ambulance Transport coverage suitable for your personal requirements.

People who reside in regional or remote Western Australia may be eligible to join a Country Ambulance Benefit Fund, which will cover the cost of your ambulance service.
I'm having trouble paying my ambulance bill. Can you help?

If you're having financial difficulties, you're not alone. We understand that financial hardship can be caused by a number of factors and can be very stressful. We're here to help.

There are a range of options available, depending on your circumstances. These include:

  • Direct debit or credit card instalments
  • Centrepay – a free service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments

The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can assist. 

Why did I receive an invoice when I was not transported?
St John charges a fee when a patient has been treated on scene, including professional medical assessment, care or advice. This fee applies if the patient was not transported to hospital. Whether you are treated at the scene or transported to hospital, the cost of the ambulance operates on a priority-based system where you are charged for the call out of the ambulance. 
Is there help available for my ambulance service invoice?
St John WA operates on a "user pay" basis, however there are some circumstances that may mean you are eligible for a subsidy, or your fee may be waived. This includes:

If the circumstances above apply to you, please provide us more information. We can place your account on hold for 6-12 weeks, pending the outcome of your claim.

Need some help? Contact us via phone (08) 9334 1212 or email billing@stjohnwa.com.au
Are there situations where an ambulance service fee isn't charged?

If you're having financial difficulties, you're not alone. We understand that financial hardship can be caused by a number of factors and can be very stressful.

The St John Finance Customer Service team is here to help you if you need to discuss our payment options.

There are a range of options available, depending on your circumstances. These include:

  • Direct debit or credit card instalments
  • Centrepay – a free service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments

We encourage you to contact us about your circumstances. The sooner you contact us, the sooner our team will be able to help you.

Contact us via phone (08) 9334 1212 or email billing@stjohnwa.com.au.
Do I have to pay for an ambulance service if I didn't call for an ambulance?
St John operates a user-pay service, meaning the person who was treated and/or transported to hospital is responsible for paying the invoice.

There are circumstances where you may be eligible for cover, assistance or a payment plan.

Please review our Pay my bill page for more information.

Need some help? Contact us via phone (08) 9334 1212 or email billing@stjohnwa.com.au
I received my bill and my insurance will only cover emergency or urgent ambulance?
St John uses a recognised medical dispatch system that is designed to ensure consistent and medically appropriate dispatch of ambulance resource. The urgency of all calls made to St John is determined from the information given to us by the caller, at the time of the Triple Zero (000) call.
How are service types assigned without seeing a patient first?
When taking a Triple Zero (000) call, our Communications Officer will ask a series of structured questions relating to the patient’s condition, and the information which is obtained is then entered into a triaging system. This system is commonly used by ambulance services around the world in helping determine the level of urgency required by the patient.

The triaging system enables us to prioritise our ambulances and use our resources in the most effective manner, to ensure that all patients can be attended to in accordance with how time critical, or life-threatening, their symptoms are. 

The priority assigned to the ambulance dispatch does not change because of the subsequent treatment provided, medical supplies consumed or the eventual diagnosis. 
Are fees the same in metropolitan Perth as in the country?
St John charges a fixed rate for emergency response in locations where paramedics are present. This represents 94% of all emergency ambulance cases in WA.

About 6 per cent of emergency ambulance cases in Western Australia are undertaken by volunteer crews in regional and remote areas. These are charged at a variable rate based on distance. 

For details on fees you can contact our support team at (08) 9334 1212 or email billing@stjohnwa.com.au.