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Health in Australia


If you’re a permanent resident in Australia, you will be eligible to the public health system – Medicare – like any other Australian native.  

You will have to register with Medicare upon arrival in Australia. Here is the documents checklist to enrol at Medicare.

Medicare funds (or reimburses) expenses related to services provided by medical practitioners

Eye examination by optometrists is also covered.

Dental treatment is excluded except for certain surgical procedures that can only be performed in hospital by specially trained maxillo-facial surgeons.

For in-hospital treatment, i.e. medical treatment provided to an admitted patient of a hospital (which usually excludes treatment provided in an outpatient or accident/emergency department of a hospital), Medicare pays 75% of the MBS Fee.

For out-of-hospital treatment, i.e. treatment provided to a person who is not an admitted patient of a hospital, Medicare pays 100% of the MBS fee for general practitioner consultations and 85% of the MBS fee for specialist consultations.

Treatment in a public hospital as a public patient is fully subsidised by Medicare. Regardless of means, every Australian is entitled to attend a public hospital and receive medical treatment free of charge. However, there may be a considerable waiting list for elective surgery. Treatment and hospital accommodation is free to the patient. This is funded through the Commonwealth-State Health Care Agreement.

A Medicare card will be delivered with your own personal Medicare number. The card is necessary to get medical treatment or to pick up drugs at the pharmacy for instance.


If you have a working holiday visa, or if you hold a temporary visa in Australia, you’re not eligible to the public health system in Australia. You will have to get a private health insurance.

Please use our free advice and quotation service to find your private health insurance in Australia!

A limited access to the public health system is nonetheless granted to foreign natives coming from countries that have signed agreements with Australia. For more information, please visit the Medicare website at (information kits are available in 18 different languages). 

  Useful links:


General requests:
Tel: 132 011
Postal address:
GPO Box 9822
(capital of your state)

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See also

Expats considered to be foreign or temporary residents have more limited options than permanent residents when it comes to buying property in Australia.
The capital of Australia, Canberra, has a lot to offer expats, from great history to scenic countryside. The city has a range of accommodation available.
Sydney is a very popular Australian city, however, this means that expats can expect high prices if they want to rent or buy a house or flat in the city.
Located in Western Australia, Perth has a range of accommodation options for expats, from houses to apartments and flat-shares.
Expats can find accommodation in numerous different neighbourhoods in Australia's most 'European' city; Melbourne.

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