The Australian healthcare system is one of the best in the world as it provides safe and quality healthcare.
Medicare is the national health insurance, which allows you to access a wide variety of medical services for free or at a low cost, so it also allows you to receive prescriptions for low-cost medications and free care in a public hospital.
Who is Eligible?
You must live in Australia to obtain a Medicare card and be:
- An Australian or New Zealand citizen.
- A permanent resident (including returning residents).
- An applicant for a permanent visa who has the right to work in Australia or who has a parent, spouse, or child who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident or New Zealand citizen (who is an Australian resident).
- A resident of certain islands of Australian dependency.
Here’s more information on eligibility.
You can get a Medicare card if you visit Australia from a country with Mutual Care Agreements. Australia has agreements with around 11 countries, including the United Kingdom, Belgium and Italy. See the complete list here
Depending on the type of visa you have in Australia, you may have to take out private health insurance. The medical costs of tourists in Australia may be covered by travel insurance. However, international students and others who are not covered by the Medicare plan must purchase private insurance.
www.oshcaustralia.com.au (For international students)
Primary care service
This is the first point of care a person comes to if they feel sick. This consultation with a general practitioner can be carried out from the patient’s home or in medical health centres.
Primary care providers also include other types of health professionals such as nurses, midwives, pharmacists, and dentists.
In the Australian healthcare system are found the specialist doctors work in a specific area of medicine. They may work in a private hospital and/or in the public hospital system. In order to have a consultation with a specialist, you will need to visit the general practitioner first for a letter of reference.
Public and private hospitals
In Australia hospital services are provided by the public and private sectors.
Medicare provides access to free treatments and accommodation in a public hospital only for Australian residents.
Regarding people who have private health insurance, they can go to any hospital, whether it is public or private, but they will have to pay part of the costs out of their own pocket since private health insurance does not cover all the expenses (this depends on the type of coverage you have purchased).
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