The Artificial Limb Scheme is a Government Scheme that provides artificial limbs (prostheses) to eligible Australian residents.
In South Australia It is administered by the South Australian Amputee Limb Service (SAALS).
Qualification for prosthesis through the SAALS
You qualify for prosthesis through this scheme if you have a limb deficiency either as the result of an amputation or from birth, provided that:
You are a permanent resident of Australia and hold or appear on a Medicare card.
You have not received and are not entitled to receive compensation or damages for the incident that led to your limb deficiency ie worker’s compensation.
Provision of prosthesis
If you are seeking assistance through this scheme, you are required to attend a Prescribing Amputee Clinic for assessment and prescription for any new or replacement prosthesis.
The office reviews the prescription. Approval for the prosthesis is then given to your chosen supplier who arranges your appointment.
It is your privilege to choose the prosthetic manufacturing company each time a prescription is written for you. However you cannot change the manufacturing company once work on your prosthesis has commenced
Life expectancy of prosthesis
The expected life of an adult prosthesis is three years. Any replacements within this time limit require a letter of explanation from your prescribing doctor. There must be sound reasons for a replacement to be authorised within this time period.
NB: The three years does not apply to children under eighteen years of age.
Types of prostheses available
Your prescribing doctor at the amputee clinic will prescribe the appropriate prosthesis for you. All prostheses manufactured through the scheme are constructed using components approved by the SAALS
A prosthesis may be provided if you have a significant partial foot or hand amputation that hinders normal activity or prevents you from working.
The SAALS allows for the provision of one prosthesis that meets all or most of your daily needs.
Special consideration may be given for geographically isolated patients, specific occupations, or special needs.
All requests will be individually assessed from information provided by yourself, your doctor or prosthetist.
Although recreational use may be a consideration in determining approval for a second prosthesis, it will not be given solely on this basis.
For further information please talk to your doctor or prosthetic manufacturer.
If your prosthesis is accidentally damaged or showing signs of wear you should contact the manufacturer who will arrange for repairs.
Replacing the prosthesis
If your prosthesis is worn out, ill fitting or otherwise unsatisfactory you should consult the prosthetic manufacturer or attend a prescribing clinic. The doctor may prescribe a new prosthesis if necessary .
Prostheses that have not reached the end of their specified life cannot be replaced without full medical justification.
Stump socks & accessories
The ALS provides stump socks and cosmetic gloves etc, through your prosthetic provider. Annual limits do apply.
NB: Silicon type socks or liners are not provided by the SAABS
Contact the prosthetic manufacturers in the state you are visiting for advice and assistance.
You will have to make your own arrangements if it is necessary to repair or replace your prosthesis while traveling overseas.
SA Government website Orthotics and Prosthetics Services:-
Transfer to Domiciliary Equipment service (DES) in 2009 (SAALS name retained).
Transferred from Domiciliary care to HealthSA July 2017
The following information is from the old scheme and will be updated by SA HEALTH (TBA).
SAALS Phone (08) 7425 0060