Travelling to Australia can be one of the most uplifting experiences, whether you travel solo or as part of a group. The land of kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses, and the dangerous yet thrilling outback, offers a huge selection of things to do every time of year. Whether you want to spend Christmas on the beach tucking into a BBQ, or you want to visit the spectacular Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), there’s plenty for everyone to do. But being safe and making sure you have health insurance is exceptionally important.
Independent Travel Insurance
When you travel to Europe, getting access to healthcare is easy. All you have to do is ensure your e111 renewal has taken place, if needed, and get basic travel insurance and you can take advantage of EU healthcare. In Australia, it is a little bit different, as there’s no such scheme. In Australia, it is important to make sure that you take out extensive travel insurance, no matter which country you visit, in order to ensure your health and safety at all times.
Australia is home to many dangerous animals, including snakes and spiders that you can find in the cities and if you venture into the outback. Therefore it is important to always make sure that you have your own independent travel insurance, to make sure that you are covered for everything that you want to do. Whether that is hiking through the outback, or surfing in the ocean, looking at the finer details of your travel insurance will ensure that you are covered for everything.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreements
Although you must ensure that you take out health/travel insurance whenever you embark on a trip, Australia also offers travellers some form of subsidised health services, under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA). The RHCA allows travellers from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta and Italy some form of essential medical treatment while they are in Australia.
Australia’s approach to healthcare is to combine both state and private care, within a cover known as Medicare. Medicare is one of the, if not the, best form of medical care in the world, and anyone from the countries listed above are covered during their stay. Visitors from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Slovenia will need to bring their EHIC in order to enrol in Medicare for the length of their stay, or until the expiry date of the card, whichever is earlier. Visitors from the other countries are covered by Medicare for the length of their stay (unless they are from Malta or Italy where they are covered for six months, from the date of their arrival).
Any emergency treatment that takes place within a public hospital, whether you are an in-patient or out-patient and any subsidised medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. It will only cover health care that is medically essential and requires treatment before you return home.
Although you may be covered for public healthcare that is essential when you visit Australia under the RHCA, it is still important to take out independent travel insurance that includes health care – just to make sure.