Medicine in Australia.
The first hospital on the Green Continent was founded by the British colonists in 1788. The hospital was a wooden hut with a thatched roof and was intended for convicts. The treatment left much to be desired: poor sanitation, meager food and little space – in such conditions patients often died rather than recovered.
Now, according to the analytical agency Bloomberg, Australia ranks sixth in the world in terms of health. In the peculiarities of the Australian medical system, let’s look at this article.
State medical insurance.
State medical insurance – Medicare – is available for citizens of the country, refugees and immigrants with a permanent visa. Medicare is funded by a compulsory medical care tax – Medicare Levy, which is 2% of the monthly taxable income. Even if there is only one worker in the family, the insurance applies to all other family members. Low-income families (whose annual income is below $ 21,000), pensioners, students and the unemployed are exempted from the tax on medical care.
The government of the country annually approves official prices (Schedule of Fees) for different types of medical assistance. Services on this list are fully covered by Medicare. State hospitals provide assistance according to official rates. Exceptions are physiotherapy, manual therapy and dentistry.
Private doctors are allowed to set extra charges for their services, so their cost is higher than the official ones set by the state. Medicare reimburses 85% of the official cost of treatment, the remaining 15% and the extra charge set by the clinic will have to be paid from your own wallet. To receive compensation, you need to bring a receipt for payment to the Medicare office.
Some private doctors work on the direct payment system (Bulk Billing) – they provide assistance in accordance with official rates. In this case, you will not have to pay extra. In the reception, the patient’s Medicare card number is registered, after the medical assistance the doctor sends the bill to the Medicare office and receives payment.
Good news for expectant mothers: childbirth is included in the number of free services. However, pregnant women here are considered ordinary patients, special care and pregnancy management are not provided. Childbirth is taken by midwives, and doctors are called only in case of complications. A more attentive approach and careful attitude to women in labor are offered by private clinics. But it is not cheap – about 7-8 thousand dollars.
To get state insurance, you need to visit the Medicare office and fill out the registration form. With a must have a passport with a valid visa. The registration form can be filled in advance on the website of the Ministry of Social Services of Australia. The card will be ready in one or two weeks.
Private medical insurance.
Private companies offer insurance for every occasion: from breast augmentation to unsuccessful shaving. But usually they are treated when a specialist’s help, surgery or other medical examination is required. These services can be obtained in public hospitals, but this will take several months to wait for their turn.
A private insurance policy compensates for the costs of services that are not covered by Medicare – physiotherapy, emergency calls, visits to the chiropractor or dentist. Without private insurance, dental treatment in Australia will cost a tidy sum – one seal can cost about 150 dollars.
The cost of insurance policy depends on the company-insurer. Compare prices here.
The government of the country encourages residents to insure their health in private companies in order to reduce the burden on the state budget. For this purpose, certain programs are being implemented.
Medicare Levy Surcharge. Medicare holders who do not have private health insurance and whose annual income is higher than the established income ($ 88,000 for an individual and $ 176,000 for a family) are paid an additional tax surcharge for a medical care tax of 1%.
Private Health Insurance. Under the state compensation program, part of the cost of a private medical insurance policy is returned. The amount of compensation depends on the annual income of the insured person or family. More on this here.
Lifetime Health Cover. The program of indefinite health insurance is aimed at increasing the number of young people with a private insurance policy. Private health insurance after 30 years will cost 2% more than people under this age. With each year of life, the interest rate will grow by 2%. If the policy at 30 years cost 150 dollars, then at 40 years it will be 20% more expensive – $ 180. True, the cost of insurance will not increase infinitely – the maximum price may increase by 70%.
For immigrants, there are indulgences – you need to get private insurance within a year of receiving Medicare. If this is not done, the insurance premiums will increase by 2% every year. More on this here. You can calculate the contribution here.
Medibank Private is a private insurance company in Australia, which has existed for 40 years and has four million customers. Not only Australian citizens can become customers of Medibank, the insurance is provided to tourists, contract workers and foreign students without a permanent visa, which Medicare is not available.
With the help of this insurance, you can get treatment in public and private hospitals, you can pay for dental services and call an ambulance.
But to cure diseases and injuries received before coming to Australia, to undergo a psychiatric examination or to make a cosmetic operation will not work. In addition, in order to prevent tourism in order to improve health in local hospitals, a “waiting period” is set for the treatment of certain diseases, which can last from six months to three years. For example, treatment of eye diseases will become available after six months of residence in the country, and treatment of diabetes after two.
Health Care Card.
For beneficiaries of benefits from Centrelink, the department of the Australian Ministry of Welfare, a Health Care Card is provided, which provides additional benefits when buying medicines and receiving medical care, including emergency services and dentists. More about the benefits here.
Citizens and permanent residents of Australia with Medicare in their hands receive a pharmaceutical discount (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme). The discount is valid only for medicines that are issued by prescription.
Medicines in Australia are expensive – prices can go up to $ 300, but at a discount price is only $ 38. And for pensioners and holders of the Health Care Card – 6 dollars.
For those who spend a lot of money on the purchase of prescription drugs, there is an additional discount – PBS Safety Net. If during the calendar year the cost of medical supplies was $ 1,475, the remainder of the year the price for them will be only $ 6.
For pensioners and holders of the Health Care Card, medicines will be provided free of charge, provided that the costs for them for the year amounted to 372 dollars.
To receive a Safety Net discount, you must keep a record of purchased prescription drugs. A special form for registration can be obtained from the pharmacy.
If you need help.
In Australia, immediately get to see a specialized doctor will not work. First you need to visit a GP or “General Practitioner”, which, after the examination, will be sent to a specialist doctor for follow-up examination, diagnosis and treatment.
Usually every family has a constant “ji-pi” & # 8211; a family doctor who knows the history of the disease of all family members, prescribes medicines and prescribes treatment. “Gee-pi” usually work on a direct payment system. You can find a general practitioner with the help of this service.
In case of an accident and a critical condition, you should immediately contact the Department of Traumatology (Casualty) or Emergency (Emergency) in the public hospital. A preliminary examination with a GP is not required! With you, you need to take a Medicare card and a Health Care Card if you have one.
If you can not reach the hospital yourself, you need to call an ambulance (Ambulance). First aid in Australia is a paid service. The cost depends on the staff and the condition of the patient. The number for calling an ambulance is 000. You can call from the numbers of any telephone operators or even without a SIM card.
Public health centers.
You can go to a health consultation, visit a dentist, a physiotherapist and other professionals at community health centers (Community Health Centers).
Public health centers provide medical services to women, immigrants, disabled persons and families with young children (for families with preschool children – free of charge, including vaccination of the child).
In Australia, childhood vaccinations are taken very seriously. Kindergartens may refuse to accept the child if it is not vaccinated. To receive some child care (Child Care Rebate) it is also necessary that the child is vaccinated.
Read more about vaccinating children here.
Health protection of the elderly.
In Australia, you do not have to worry about getting old. Elderly people who, for whatever reason, need care or supervision, can contact the Aged Care Assessments Teams. The organization will appoint home care or identify in a nursing home in dependence on the state of health and desire of the elderly patient.
Home care includes not only medical care, but also help with cleaning, cooking and personal hygiene. The cost of such services depends on the marital status and the size of the pension. Online calculator for calculations.
In nursing homes (Nursing Home or Aged Care Home), elderly people are looked after around the clock. They undergo medical procedures, attend recreational activities and receive the necessary medical care.
The cost of the stay depends on the family and financial situation of the guest.
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Medicine in Australia.