National health care system and insurance
  • Last updated:
  • 31 Aug 2021

Medicare is Australia’s national health care system which helps Australians and permanent residents with the cost of doctor’s visits, medicines, hospital stays etc. Some temporary migrants may also be eligible.

Register with Medicare

To register with Medicare, you will need your passport and other travel documents. If you meet all the requirements you will be given a temporary Medicare card number. You will receive your Medicare card in the post approximately three weeks later.

More information is available in different languages on the government's Human Services website.

Phone: 132 011

Private health insurance

You can find a comprehensive list of independent private health insurance on the government's Private Health website.


Overseas visitors and overseas students

If you are visiting Australia and hold a temporary visa, you should consider taking out Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC). If you need to visit a doctor or stay in hospital while you are here, you could find yourself responsible for the full cost of treatment, which can be very expensive.