Australian Healthcare System, how is it?

  1. I have heard many nice things about people who moved to Australia but I'm just curious to know how is the Australian Healthcare System? Do people need to pay out-of-pocket, do they need to be insured? Is it expensive? How does it work? Thanks!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    We have Medicare for all, and pay a Medicare levy in our taxes. We all have access to free healthcare, although some GPs etc charge a fee (more and more over time). If I have an infection, I'd take my medicare card to the local bulk-billing clinic, pay nothing and see the doc to get a prescription.

    I may have more problems if I needed an operation (elective or semi-elective), as there are not enough nurses to staff enough beds, so public hospitals have long waiting periods for these operations (hip, knee replacements etc).

    In addition to this basic cover, you can have private health cover which permits you faster care with the surgeon and hospital of your choice. As time goes by, the government is "encouraging" people to buy private cover by penalizing people over the age of 30 who do not have it with an additional Medicare levy in their taxes.

    On the whole, of the countries I've been to, it works the best. However I have never had a serious injury or need for an operation apart from wisdom teeth removal - and I went private for that.
  4. by   talaxandra
    Australian citizens, and citizens of countries with which Australia has a reciprocal agreement (like NZ, the UK), are entitled to coverage under Medicare. This covers any treatment in the public health care system, subsidised visits to GPs, and access to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (which caps prices for prescription drugs).

    Medicare is funded by income tax, with a surpkus 1% paid by anyone who earns over $50,000 p.a. and does not have private health insurance.
  5. by   Grace Oz
    You will find information here: Medicare Australia - Entry Page
    Last edit by Grace Oz on Nov 20, '06
  6. by   gwenith
    I work with Americans who state that they pay full insurance for health care since they are not permanent residents but the amount they are paying for this is comparably cheaper than in the USA!! So, be warned unless you come from a country with a reciprocal agreement you will need to carry private health insurance.
    If you immigrate you are covered by the public system after a period of time, but you are not accepted for immigration if you have a chronic health condition,
  7. by   australianrn
    my son had a mishap and was admitted to hospital last sunday and consequently needed (and had) surgery on one of his toes) on sunday night.

    Although we have private health insurance, it was recommended we use medicare. This is because although almost everything is covered if using private insurance, there is often still a gap, which can end up being approx $500.
    So Medicare it was and he was admitted as a public patient. Fantastic care given, discharged today with no out of pocket expensies. He was given a course of antibiotics and 2 boxes of panadeine forte for pain relief. No cost for abs or pain meds either.

    We did go up to physio dept and hired a set of crutches, $25 refundable .

    All in all I am very happy with Australias health care system. I am sure though, that if elective surgery is required, things are somewhat different.

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