How does Australian healthcare system work
There are many reasons why people are so keen on migrating to Australia, whether it is the unique environment you want to experience, or a better health system for you and your family, Australia may be the place for you. If you are in the category that wants to experience the health care system in Australia, then stay glued to this article and read on. Australian hospitals are first class and it has one of the best health care systems in the world. This is why many choose Australia to migrate to. The Australian Government helps with medical expenses through a system called Medicare.
No matter where you are from (India or anywhere around the globe), in Australia you have the right to be respected as a human being, no matter where you were born. There are federal and state laws that state that no person should be treated less favourably than another because of their sex, age, race, religion or sexual preference. This freedom of choice can be a bit overwhelming for you potential migrant. Although language could be a bit of a barrier, but not to worry, English is the widely spoken language, and there language interpreting devices to help those with communication issues, so you have little or nothing to worry about.
Medicare is Australia’s publicly funded health care system however it does not provide 100% coverage. Medicare provides eligible individuals access to free or subsidised medical, optometric (eye care) and public hospital care. Medicare does not pay towards ambulance costs, physiotherapy, spectacles, podiatry, chiropractic services, or private hospital accommodation. Individuals can also choose to access private health services that charge for their services, and may choose to take out private health insurance to cover these types of costs. Medicare Information Kits for migrants are available in 19 different languages. The system of healthcare in Australia is not only focused on the physical and mental health of its populace but also the overall social well-being of the individual. The system is a homogeny of both public and private health service providers. It is funded in part by a tax levy of 1.5% for middle income earners and 2.5% for high income earners.
Medicare pays a benefit to the user for various healthcare costs including:
->doctors’ and specialists’ consultation fees; ->tests and examinations your doctor orders for you; ->eye tests carried out by optometrists; and ->Most surgical procedures.
A system of healthcare in Australia is the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Here, the government provides high subsidies for the prescription medication available in the market. This is available for all Australian residents and tourists from countries which have Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with Australia. The Australian government also provides subsidies for the cost of prescriptions allowing for a further lowering of costs of treatment for Australian citizens. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) provides subsidized drugs at a set co-payment (at a lower level for welfare recipients). It was established more than 50 years ago and now covers about 600 drugs in over 1,500 formulations. This comprises over 90% of all prescriptions written in Australia. Patients therefore pay the set co-payment regardless of the cost of the drug they receive. There are safety net provisions in place to limit total expenditure. There is direct negotiation on price between the Government and the pharmaceutical company.
Chronic or emergency cases
Although ambulance cover varies between the different Australian States, the services are provided free for local residents In Queensland and Tasmania. So if you stay in that locality then you are good to go. In all other States fees may be charged and it varies depending on: ->How far individuals travel by ambulance, ->The type of transport e.g. Helicopter ->The nature of the illness, whether an emergency or not, and any concession eligibility.
N.B: Check the details of any ambulance cover provided by private health insurers carefully as it may only be limited to ’emergency’ transportation
If you care to know, there are two types of private health insurance ->Hospital policies and ->Ancillary or extras cover for treatments such as dental and physiotherapy.
The Health Care /Immunisation/ Low income earners System
The Australian health care system provides universal access to a comprehensive range of services, largely publicly funded through general taxation. The Australian Childhood Immunisation Register records vaccinations given to children under seven (7). The records help Medicare Australia to keep track of immunisation coverage levels. While if you are a low income earner, you and your dependents may be eligible for a healthcare card. This entitles you to discounted prescription medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and you may also be eligible for concessions offered by private companies and on Commonwealth, State and Local Government health services.