The Australian local healthcare system is considered as one of the best in the world thanks to its welfare system “MEDICARE” and its high-quality medical care.
MEDICARE is available to people living permanently in Australia for at least two years. It is funded by the government for the most part and the rest is supported via a contribution of 1.5% directly deducted from salaries (2.5% for big salaries).
This system covers basic medical and hospital expenses and fully reimburses hospitalization fees (only in public facilities). However it does not provide coverage for dental or vision care, medical prostheses, drugs and insured members cannot choose their own doctor.
Many Australians need to take out private healthcare insurance in order to be reimbursed for medical care not covered under the MEDICARE system.
Visiting a doctor in Australia
As a general manner, Australian GPs see their patients from Monday to Saturday morning. As part of the MEDICARE system, patients do not have to make cash advances with “bulk bill doctors” thanks to the Medicare card. If they do not offer such service, patients have to pay for the consultation which will then be reimbursed (if the consultation fee is too high, it may not be reimbursed entirely). Consultation fees range from 40 to 60 AU$ in average.
To be noted: after-hours doctors are available outside usual office hours in order to relieve hospitals’ emergency services.
Specialist doctors in Australia Patients are referred to specialist doctors by their general practitioner (excluding dentists and ophthalmologists). Consultation fees range from 100 to 200 AU$ in average.
Being admitted to hospital in Australia
Australian public hospitals If you only benefit from Medicare, you are considered a public patient and your expenses are covered at 100% but you cannot choose your own doctor and you depend on the hospital’s schedule to be admitted. If you benefit from Medicare and also have private healthcare insurance, you are considered a private patient and can choose your own doctor but your expenses will only be covered up to 75%. The rest will be supported by the private healthcare plan.
Australian private hospitals are available to people who do not benefit from Medicare. You can choose your own doctor and surgeon as well as your date of admission.
Both public and private hospitals provide emergency services but they are often filled to capacity. In that case you can call after-hours doctors if you need to be rapidly admitted.
Buying medication in Australia
Drugs are not covered by Medicare. A drug usually costs 15 to 20 AU$.
Get your health insurance for Australia
MSH can help you design the best international health insurance plan to suit your needs.
Going for less than a year? We have the right health insurance plan to cover you for 1 to 12 months, whether it's for a personal project, an apprenticeship, a working holiday or any other reason.
Going for a year or more? Explore our comprehensive and highly flexible health insurance solutions to protect you and your family while you're abroad.
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Petra was very worried about the surgery she'd been prescribed following an accident at home. Before making her decision, she wanted a second opinion. Thanks to her private health insurance, which included the Second Medical Opinion guarantee, she quickly saw another doctor and got all the answers to her questions. The second doctor agreed that surgery was necessary and Petra went to hospital feeling reassured and confident.
Bill and his family are based in Brazil. Unhappy with his previous insurer, Bill switched to MSH in December 2015: "One of the best decisions I've made since I've been here", he says, "for the level of service and the breadth and quality of the network." Bill's insurance card is now recognized by the biggest and best hospitals in Sao Paulo. He even gets third-party payment for simple hospital tests without needing prior agreement: "MSH makes life easy", says Bill.
Length: 12 months Cost of visa: AU $420 (around €280) Processing time: three days to one week on average if you apply on-line
Application Requirements are quite similar for all nationalities, however some have to supply more documents. To apply for a visa in Australia, you have to: - Be aged 18-30 inclusive - Be without dependents - Have a valid passport - Have proof of adequate savings - Have a clean criminal record - Have a medical certificate proving that you're in good health - Have international health insurance to cover the length of your stay - Have never had a working holiday visa for Australia before (1st participation) - Be flying to Australia within 3 months of getting your visa