I’m by no means an expert on the Australian health care system, but have started this article to gather some links and resources for Dutch Australians looking for more information. Rules can change regularly, so please make sure you check with the relevant authorities for your situation.
Medicare for Australian citizens
I was born in, and grew up in Australia. For most of my life, I was covered by the Medicare public health system, which was actually introduced in the year in which I was born (1975).
Private healthcare in Australia
As a young adult, I “upgraded” to supplementary private health care with MBF (now merged with Bupa). Though I remember this seeming quite expensive at the time on my low wage, it was worth it as you had more choice about which specialists you could see, and waiting lists were shorter.
If I understand this quote below correctly, it seems there are a total of 24 options for private health care in Australia at the moment.
Private Healthcare Australia (PHA) is the Australian private health insurance industry’s peak representative body that currently has 24 registered health funds throughout Australia and collectively represents 97% of people covered by private health insurance. PHA member funds today provide healthcare benefits for over 13 million Australians.https://www.privatehealthcareaustralia.org.au/about-us/
My Health Record
When logging into My.Gov.Au account for the first time in literally years today, I discovered an option to set up a digital health record. This was quite easy to do. It seems to have carried across my option taken in 2008 to be a donor. There is very little other health information in there, no doubt as I have been away from Australia for quite a while now, and records were not often digitised before then. Still, it could be useful to have active for the future.
Healthcare for Australians who are travelling
If you are an Australian citizen, but travelling on a holiday, usually travel insurance will cover you for overseas emergencies and required health care. Make sure you look into this before you go and ensure you’re adequately covered. If you’re travelling to The Netherlands, there is a reciprocal health care agreement worth researching.
Leaving or returning to Australia
When I moved to the Netherlands and my understanding is that you lose your Medicare benefits as soon as you immigrate to another country. When we moved back, I simply re-registered at a local Medicare office.
I’m currently living in the Netherlands, and needed to update my address with Medicare – you can do this via https://my.gov.au
Useful Australian Healthcare links
Healthcare Australia Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Australia
Medicare Australia Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(Australia)
Medicare official website: http://humanservices.gov.au
Your Australian healthcare tips
Do you have any information or experiences to share with the Dutch Australian community? Please comment below or come and discuss in our Facebook group.