The Australian Government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with the governments of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta*and Italy*.
* Patients from Malta and Italy are covered for Medicare for a period of six months from the date of arrival in Australia.
If you are from one of these countries, these agreements may entitle you to limited subsidised health services for medically necessary treatments whilst visiting Australia.
Residents of countries covered by a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement between your country and Australia are usually eligible for free emergency treatment under Australia’s Medicare system, should you have an accident whilst in Australia. It does not entitle you to treatment as a private patient or for elective admissions.
If the appropriate documentation (passport, visa, date of entry confirmation and/or country of birth residential status) is not provided you will be treated as a Medicare Ineligible Patient and you will be expected to pay for all associated medical costs. When documents are presented to the Patient Liaison Officer, associated fees can be waived.
Note that students from Norway, Finland, Malta and the Republic of Ireland are not covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreements are not designed to replace private travel health insurance for overseas travel.