A Reciprocal Health Care Agreement enables visitors from certain countries to get essential medical treatment while they’re in Australia.

The Australian Government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with 11 countries. They allow eligible people visiting from those countries to access some free or reduced cost health care services through Australia’s Medicare system.

If you’re covered by an RHCA, you’ll have access to some Medicare services when you’re in Australia, but it’s important to know that Medicare doesn’t cover all health services (such as treatment in a private hospital or as a private patient, ambulance, and dental treatment). So it's a good idea to get private health insurance for your peace of mind.

For many visitors, private health insurance is also a visa requirement so you should check this before you apply for your visa. You can do this through the Department of Home Affairs.

Eligible countries

The Australian Government has RHCA agreements with:

  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

How to access Medicare

You need to enrol to claim Medicare benefits. To find out how to enrol, and which documentation you’ll need to provide, go to the Department of Home Affairs website.