How Much Do You Know About Australia’s Healthcare System?

Understanding the Australian healthcare system is a crucial part of living in Australia and here are some important things you need to know about navigating the healthcare system in Australia.

This article was written exclusively for Expat Network by BUPA Australia.


Did you know there are two healthcare systems in Australia?

Australia has two healthcare systems, one is the public system called Medicare, and the other is the private system.

The public healthcare system provides services to Australian residents.

Most international visitors and overseas students are only able to access the private healthcare system.

The exception to this rule is if your home country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia which will provide you with access to use the public healthcare system (refer to the Department of Human Services website for further details).


What are the key differences between public and private health insurance?

If you purchase private health insurance, you have more choice. For example, you can choose to go to a public hospital or private hospital; you can choose your own doctor, and if you are hospitalised in a private hospital, your waiting period is likely to be shortened and you may receive a private room.



Australian health insurance

Do I need to purchase health insurance?

Many international visitors are required to purchase an appropriate level of private health insurance as part of their Australian Visa application.
Australian residents have the choice to purchase private health insurance.