The Australian Health System

Private & Public Healthcare in Australia

When relocating to Australia, you will need to check whether you are covered by Medicare, Australia’s public health system. Residents of some countries enjoy limited Medicare cover, but only for emergency treatment and only under certain conditions.

If you are not covered by Medicare, you will be required to pay for hospital or medical treatment.

Most visa applicants, and in some circumstances their dependents (whether they are migrating to Australia or not), are required to meet certain health requirements.

To meet these requirements you must be free from a disease or condition that is:

  • considered to be a threat to public health or a danger to the Australian community.
  • likely to result in significant health care and community service costs to the Australian community.
  • likely to require health care and community services that would prejudice the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to those services in short supply.

The purpose of health requirements is to:

  • protect the Australian community from public health and safety risks, in particular active tuberculosis.
  • contain public expenditure on health and community services, including social security benefits, allowances and pensions.
  • safeguard the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to health care and community services in short supply.

In some circumstances, to meet the health requirements you may be asked to sign a Health Undertaking by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC). For example, if you are assessed as having a condition or disease that requires a follow up medical examination after arriving in Australia you will need to sign a Health Undertaking before being considered to have met the health requirement.