The Australian Healthcare System

The Australian healthcare system comprises of two main entities, the public health system which operates through the Australian government, and the private health system which is non-government run.

The Public Health System

Medicare is the government program which funds the public health system. All Australian residents are eligible to receive Medicare funding for medical expenses regardless of their level of income. Medicare provides free access to some elements of the Australian healthcare system, and subsidies for other treatments to various degrees.

Temporary residents are eligible for Medicare funding only if their country of origin has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia. In this case, Medicare will only cover treatment that is considered medically necessary. This stipulation limits the medical services and treatments accessible to temporary residents, as out-of-pocket expenses are significant. This is why it is necessary for 457 Visa holders to have private health insurance before arriving in Australia. Compare 457 Visa health insurance options here.

The Private Health System

The private health system operates separate to the government, offering facilities and services such as private hospitals, private health insurers and private health providers. The private healthcare system covers medical services such as ambulance transfer, physiotherapy and dental. Private health plans are necessary to 457 Visa holders to help cover any unforeseen medical expenses that arise during their time in Australia.