Embattled Health Minister Sussan Ley has apologised for making an "error of judgment" by charging for a trip to the Gold Coast, in which she purchased an apartment. Ley said she will pay for the cost of the taxpayer-funded trips.

In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, Ley explained that her trip to the Gold Coast was not due to the apartment auction. However, she understood that the purchase had "changed the context of the travel undertaken."

"The distinction between public and private business should be as clear as possible when dealing with taxpayers' money," she said.

Ley revealed that she had already spoken with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. She said he agreed that this claim failed to meet the standards he expected of ministers.

Last week, it was learned through government records that Ley has frequently visited the Gold Coast and billed taxpayers for accommodation. Ley was asked to explain her May 2015 trip or resign from the ministry.

Ley has apparently chosen the first option, explaining that she travelled to Brisbane on May 9, 2015, to announce the availability of new medicines at a specialist breast cancer clinic before heading to the Gold Coast to meet with patients. That was the time when she purchased the apartment.

She was able to make it clear that her travel to the Gold Coast was "within the rules." Ley said the reason she opted to pay the travel claims is because she holds herself to high standards.

Meanwhile, Turnbull said in statement that he expected the highest standards from his ministers in all aspects of their conduct. This is especially true with matters concerning the expenditure of public money.

"Australians expect the Government to deal with these serious matters very thoroughly and in accordance with the Statement of Ministerial Standards," he said. The ABC has reported that Turnbull said Ley had agreed to "stand aside without ministerial pay" during the investigation process.