Public Healthcare (Medicare)

Public Healthcare (Medicare)


The public health system is called Medicare and is available to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and overseas visitors from countries that have a reciprocal healthcare agreement with Australia. Medicare provides you with access to medical and hospital services in Australia and usually covers free or subsidised treatments by healthcare professionals like doctors, specialists and allied health professionals, and in some instances subsidised medicines.


Who are entitled to Medicare?

  • Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • Overseas visitors with a working holiday visa if they are from Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Slovenia or the UK (limitations may apply)
  • Overseas visitors on student visa if they are from Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, or the UK (limitations may apply; Overseas Student Cover is also required)
  • Temporary residents waiting for their permanent resident applications to be approved


Applying for Medicare

If eligible, we advise that you apply for Medicare within 7 to 10 days of arriving in Australia. To apply:

  • Complete the Medicare enrolment application form available from the Human Services website.
  • Return the completed form along with original or certified copies of your identity, proof of residence, and if applicable, visa grant letter, to your nearest Medicare Service Centre – find one here. For initial enrolments, all people 15 years and older on the application must go to the Medicare Service Centre. Exceptions may apply – see the enrolment for more information.

Once your application is approved, you will receive your Medicare card(s) in the mail.


Bulk Billing

Bulk billing is where the doctor charges Medicare directly with no additional cost to you. If you use the service of doctors or practices who do not ‘bulk bill’, often known as private practices, there may be additional out of pocket expenses to you.


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Sterling Healthcare Resourcing

The content of this website is written and owned by Sterling Healthcare Resourcing Pty Ltd, an Australian-owned healthcare recruitment agency which specialises in permanent and locum job placements of Australian and international doctors. This website contains information that serves as a general guide to living and working in Australia.

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