A decision that’s good for you

Australia’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world, providing safe and affordable healthcare for all citizens and permanent residents through Medicare, Australia's universal healthcare scheme. Medicare covers the cost of public hospital services. It also covers some – or all – of the costs of other health services, including those provided by general practitioners, medical specialists, physiotherapists and community nurses, as well as basic dental care for children.

Once you’ve got your Medicare card, you can also access the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The PBS is the Australian Government program that subsidises the cost of medicines.

Australia has:

  • world-class hospitals
  • the latest medical tech and equipment
  • health and medical research that’s among the best in the world
  • purpose-built rehabilitation facilities
  • trusted aged care 

‘The ticket to a golden life.’

Hear from skilled migrants who are living their dream, working in healthcare in Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to pay if I visit a hospital?

Visits to public hospital emergency departments are free for Medicare card holders. You may be charged a fee if you go to an emergency department in a private hospital. Hospital emergency departments in Australia will never turn away people with serious or life-threatening illness or injuries and they will never ask you to pay in advance. People living in Australia have basic healthcare rights.  

Will I have to pay if I call an ambulance?

Ambulance services are not covered by Medicare. In some states and territories ambulance services are free for residents – in others there may be a fee. You can buy ambulance insurance as a standalone policy. If you have health insurance, ambulance cover may be included in your policy.

Does Medicare cover the costs of having a baby in the public hospital system?

Medicare can cover all or part of the health care costs of having a baby, including ultrasounds and blood tests, pregnancy counselling, vaccinations, care from midwives and obstetricians in the public health system, and your stay as a public patient in a public hospital.

Will I need a health check to come to Australia?

When you apply for a permanent or provisional visa, you and any family members who will be coming to Australia with you will need a health examination.

Where will I find medical support?

Family doctors (General Practitioners or GPs) are your first contact for medical matters. They provide general medical care and can refer you to a specialist or allied health professional – such as a speech therapist or a dietitian – if needed. 


Medical specialists work in both the public and private health systems. If you receive specialist care in the public system you will be seen as either an outpatient (this means you don’t stay in hospital overnight) or you may be admitted as an inpatient. If you need to see an allied health professional you may or may not need a referral, depending on the profession and whether you are going through the public or private health system.

Emergency medical services are mainly provided at emergency departments at public hospitals. Some walk-in medical clinics also provide emergency care. Find out more about Australia’s health system