The UK and Australia have reciprocal health agreements. As a British national you are entitled to treatment which is deemed ‘medically necessary’. Medically necessary means ill health/ injury that occurs in Australia and requires treatment before you return home.
You are entitled to:
- Free treatment as a public in patient or outpatient in a public hospital
- Subsidised medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
- Medicare benefits for out of hospital medical treatment provided by doctors through private surgeries and community health centres
If you visit a doctor during your time in Australia you may be charged. You are entitled to claim back this money through the Medicare system. You will have to enrol with Medicare to do so.
To enrol with Medicare you will need a copy of your passport and your visa. You will also require a copy of your UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
You can apply for a GHIC here: GHIC Application
Further information on Medicare and how to enrol can be found at Medicare Information
To enrol in Medicare you will need to download and complete the Medicare enrolment form.
The Republic of Ireland has a similar reciprocal health agreement to the UK but ROI nationals are not entitled to out of hospital medical treatment and as such are not eligible for a Medicare card.
For more information on Medicare, full details are available here Medicare Services
A full list of countries with a reciprocal agreement is available here Reciprocal Health Care Agreements
N.B. Dental work is not covered by the reciprocal health agreement.
In most states in Australia, Ambulance services are funded through a levy on resident’s electricity. Electricity retailers and suppliers collect the levy on behalf of state governments through the retailers’ existing billing arrangements.
As Sport Lived participants are not permanent residents in Australia they cannot become members of their state’s ambulance service and are therefore unable to receive free ambulance services. If you need an ambulance during your time in Australia you will have to pay for it.
It is essential that you obtain travel insurance for your trip to Australia. Most travel insurance policies will cover the cost of emergency medical treatment including the cost of using an ambulance.
Victoria Ambulance Service:
Emergency Telephone Number for Police, Fire and Ambulance: 000
For serious illness or injury that is critical and requires urgent attention, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance or go to the emergency department of your local hospital.
National crisis numbers 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7):
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800 for young people 5-25 years
- Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
- MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78 for men of any age
- State-based mental health crisis numbers (24/7): VIC – 1300 651 251 – Suicide Help Line
These phone lines are available to anyone in Australia 24/7, and are free or provided at the cost of a local call (some charges may apply to mobile users).
Healthdirect.gov.au - Need Help Now
Nearest Emergency Department
Alfred Hospital, Emergency Department, 55 Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC, 3004
- Phone: 03 9076 3405
- Website: Visit website
Call 1300 60 60 24 from anywhere in Victoria for free health advice, 24 hours a day.
- NURSE-ON-CALL puts you directly in touch with a registered nurse for caring, professional health advice around the clock.
- Local call costs apply from anywhere in Victoria. Higher rates may apply for calls from mobiles.
- For other areas of Australia refer to Healthdirect.gov.au - Need Help Now
- Check your symptoms with Healthdirect’s Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
Making a Claim
Please follow the following steps to make a claim on your travel insurance:
- Once you have received medical treatment in Australia, please retain all receipts.
- Enrol with Medicare
- Make a claim with Medicare
- If the full cost of treatment has not been fully covered by Medicare, please contact your travel insurance provider and make a further claim.
Please retain all Medicare documentation for your insurance claim.