Healthcare in Perth



The healthcare system in Perth is part of a national health policy that is notably one of the best in the world.

Perth’s population is made up of 1,972,358 people and the city has an average life expectancy of 81 years. Expats who are planning to relocate to Perth can be assured of receiving optimal care from public care providers which work in perfect synch with the private sector.

The Australian government's health system is based on a scheme called Medicare, which guarantees all qualified to get access to free hospital care and assistance with physician fees. All residents, locals and expatriates, qualify for these benefits except those who are still holding temporary visas. If one's permanent visa is on process, he may also be accepted into the system provided he meet certain requirements. Basic Medicare coverage includes doctors' fees, diagnostic exams, medical and dental surgeries, treatments administered by doctors and certain procedures under the Cleft Lip and Palate scheme. 

While public hospital treatment is one hundred percent free for Medicare patients, out of hospital care is covered for only up to 85% of the cost, except for General Practitioner or GP services. A patient seeking care in a public hospital will be treated by public nominated medical staff while patients seeking private healthcare can choose any doctor they want, whether they come in as a Medicare or private patient. Dental procedures performed as part of in-hospital treatment are covered for up to 85% of the cost for Medicare patients as long as the dentist is Medicare-registered, while basic out-of-hospital dental procedures are not. For all types of medical or dental care sought by a Medicare patient, it is important that the dentist or doctor performing the treatment is enlisted under the public health program for the appropriate coverage levels to apply. For those seeking private insurance coverage, Perth also has a wealth of private companies which will offer either open membership or restricted membership like corporate insurance packages.

Medicare patients can buy medicines visa the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which covers nearly 2000 essential drugs that only need a doctors' prescription for them to be acquired. This benefit applies to all Australian residents, including expatriates with permanent residence visas and to tourists from countries that share a mutual healthcare agreement with the national government. Vaccination requirements for travel to Perth or any other point in Australia include a certificate of vaccination for those coming from an infected area along with up-to-date tetanus and polio vaccinations for all other travelers.

When dealing with medical emergencies, some expatriates may have trouble determining which hotline to call. For anyone who needs emergency help but is unsure what number to call, one may dial 1234 and inquire from the operator as to which specific hotlines are appropriate for which cases. During a 1234 call, one has to supply the operator basic details such as the patient's name and age and, of course, details describing the particular emergency situation. To get an ambulance, the hotline is 000. Ambulance services aren't covered by Medicare, but one may take membership to a private organization that offers free ambulance services for about AUD 20 a year.

Expatriates in Perth are living proof as to the efficiency of Australia's national healthcare system which remains to be a dream for many other countries. As long a foreigner stays in the city or anywhere in the country with legal documentation, he will not have a problem gaining access to this highly functional system which has become a model for other Western countries with developing healthcare programs.


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Healthcare in Australia