Reciprocal Health Agreements

Australia has healthcare agreements with Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom that allow Australians to access urgent or emergency treatment overseas. However, medical services are only provided when it would be unreasonable to delay treatment until the person returns to Australia.

It’s important to remember:

  • Healthcare agreements are no substitute for travel insurance. They won’t cover you if a doctor recommends medical evacuation back to Australia.
  • You’ll only be covered by these healthcare agreements once you’re in the specific country. Health problems that occur during travel to and from an agreement country are not covered.
  • If you wish to be treated under the relevant reciprocal healthcare agreement, you must advise the medical staff in the country you’re visiting. You’ll need to provide the local authorities with your Australian passport (or other passport that shows you are a permanent Australian resident) and a valid Medicare card.
  • Further information about health care when travelling overseas and international health agreements is available on the Department of Human Services website, or by calling 13 20 11.