New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia

Health entitlements for New Zealanders


New Zealand citizens living permanently in Australia are eligible for Medicare provided they can prove they have entered Australia long-term or permanently and can supply 100 points of proof of their identity (see ‘Proof of identity’ section above).

To prove that they live in Australia long-term or permanently, New Zealanders need to produce documents such as a purchase or lease agreement for a property, gas/electricity accounts in the same name or an employment contract. For further information contact Medicare Australia.

People who are eligible for Medicare get free public hospital treatment and free or subsidised treatment from doctors, as well as access to subsidised pharmaceuticals.

Hospital treatment

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand who hold a Returning Residents Visa are entitled to receive free emergency treatment at an Australian public hospital under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement between New Zealand and Australia. Under the Agreement their pharmaceutical needs may also be subsidised, but there may be charges for some services, such as ambulance transport. For further information contact Medicare Australia.

Non Hospital-Related Medical Expenses

New Zealanders who are not eligible for Medicare or assistance under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement have to pay all out-of-hospital costs; for example doctors visits, ambulances, dental care, medical evacuation to New Zealand, treatment in private hospitals, treatment that is elective or not immediately necessary and funerals, as well as the full cost of all pharmaceuticals. We recommend that New Zealanders obtain medical insurance before travelling to Australia, to cover these costs.

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