Visiting from the Republic of Ireland

If you’re visiting Australia from the Republic of Ireland, you may be eligible for medical care under Medicare while you’re here.

Who can get it

You’re covered for inpatient public hospital care only under the RHCA.

You don’t need to enrol in Medicare and won’t get a Medicare card.

To be eligible, you must have been both:

  • a resident of Ireland
  • been living in Ireland for at least 6 months before coming to Australia.

If you’re here on a student visa, you’re not eligible for Medicare.

If you're a diplomat

You and your family are eligible for Medicare the whole time you’re posted here as a diplomat. You'll need to enrol in Medicare. Your cover isn’t limited and you’re entitled to full Medicare benefits. 

What’s covered

The agreement covers:

  • medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital
  • some PBS prescription medicines at the general rate.

Read more about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Your cover is for public inpatient hospital care only. You won’t get a Medicare benefit for out of hospital services under the agreement.

What documents you need to show

At the public hospital or pharmacy you need to ask staff to treat you under the reciprocal health care agreement.

You’ll also need to show evidence of your valid visa and:

  • your Irish passport, or
  • your European Health Insurance Card with the initials IE.

You may need to show at least 2 documents proving you live in Ireland. This could include:

  • a work contract
  • a rental or lease agreement or bond receipt
  • a bank statement
  • evidence of child enrolled in childcare or school
  • property or contents insurance
  • gas, electricity, water or rates account.

When your cover starts and ends

Your cover starts the day you arrive in Australia. It ends the day your visa expires.

Page last updated: 3 December 2019