Personal Healthcare Availability

People who reside in Australia are elegible to access Medicare Benefits if they:

  • hold Australian citizenship or
  • have been issued with a permanent visa or
  • hold New Zealand citizenship or
  • have applied for a permanent visa.

Elegibility to Medicare by overseas visitors depends on the country of origin. Thus under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) people from United Kingdom , The Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta and Italy are entitled to restricted access to health cover while visiting Australia.

As a resident from the UK you are covered for the length of your stay in Australia even if you hold a student visa.

Note that you cannot sign up to Medicare until you are in the country. In order to get a visa (e.g. e457) it is required for you to have health care insurance so it is recommended to get a cheap insurance before your arrival.

Your Medicare entitlements are the following:

  • free treatment  in public hospitals,
  • subsidised medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and
  • Medicare benefits for out-of-hospital treatment provided by a doctor.

For more details about your covers visit the Human Services website.

If you are not entitled to full Medicare cover you can get an Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) which is provided by a range of Australian Health Funds and insurance companies.