Outside of the Medicare system (is a national, state run, healthcare scheme for citizens or permanent residents of Australia) there are a myriad of insurance schemes and treatment options available for individuals who have relocated to Australia, from local “out-patient” only insurance plans to comprehensive health insurance coverage, you can be assured that the Australian healthcare system will be able to offer you the treatment and choices of cover that you deserve.
Australia Travel Tips
Australia a major destination for travelers from all around the world. Foreign nationals visit the country for a myriad of reasons; from the scenery of the outback to the dazzle of the Sydney opera house, Australia is world renowned as a tourism hotspot.
When traveling to a new country it can be difficult to know how to act in accordance with the local laws and customs, as such we have provided some travel advice for Australia to make your trip more pleasant. Please be advised that information contained herein is meant for reference purposes only and is liable to change without warning. For the most up to date travel advice it is suggested that you consult a travel expert before departing on your journey.
There remains a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks. There is a general threat of terrorism in Australia; attacks may be carried out in areas frequented by foreigners or tourists. In the event of a terrorist event please follow all government directions and take all due precautions.
Australia is a large country and it is easy to become lost. As a result of this please plan all journeys carefully and make sure that someone knows where you are going, especially if you plan on visiting isolated or remote areas.
A large number of foreign nationals visit Australia each year, and most visits are trouble free. The main type of incident for which foreign nationals will require consular assistance is with regards to lost or stolen passports. As a result of this it is advised that you store all your important documents and valuable items in a safe place.
In cities or other popular tourist destinations it is advisable that you take certain precautions in order to minimize your risk of danger. Avoid carrying all your personal possessions in one bag, leave your valuables in your hotel or a safe, take care when walking at night and stay away from poorly lit areas, and always keep an eye on your luggage.
If you plan on staying in Australia for an extended period of time it is advised that you obtain a “Proof of age card” from the Australian Road and Traffic Authority (RTA). This will remove the need for you to carry your passport on your person thereby negating the risk that it will be stolen or lost.
If you go to a beach or are planning to swim in the ocean, always obey the instructions of lifeguards. Only swim in the marked areas, and avoid any isolated beaches. A majority of Australian beaches experience extreme rip tides that pose a high risk to many swimmers, stay close to the shore and keep watch on all children.
All drugs and narcotic substances are illegal in Australia. Anyone who is found guilty of importing or trafficking in illegal substances is liable to long term jail sentences and non-Australian nationals will usually be deported and not allowed to return to the country. While the law in regards to drugs may change between states it is important that you do not become involved with drugs during your stay in Australia.
Australia practices rigorous quarantine procedures in an effort to keep out foreign flora and fauna that may harm the local ecosystem and environment. Quarantine procedures can be extensive and may cause some delays for you when entering the country.
There are a number of health risks in Australia including threats from Dengue fever, Ross Fever, and Murray Valley Encephalitis.
With Australia rapidly emerging as a major economic power and creating strong ties with the rest of Asia, and China in particular, many foreign nationals are seeing the country as a prime relocation destination. While many people will understand general Australian lifestyle and cultural habits quite easily, there is one major area of concern for many expatriates who have recently moved to the country, and this is in regards to Australia's health care and insurance system.
The Australian Healthcare system is a mix of both private and public organizations and services. The responsibility for providing healthcare services is split between the state and federal governments with both public and private entities playing a major role in the industry. The Australian healthcare system has large financial reserves, which allow it to adequately provide treatment and services to patients all over the country; however it is also burdened with lengthy bureaucratic procedures and oversight, meaning that it can take a long time for a patient to receive the care, or treatments, that they need.
The country currently spends approximately 8.5% of its total GDP on healthcare services, which is close to the amounts spent on healthcare by the USA , UK , and Canada . The Australian government pays for approximately 70% of the nations overall healthcare expenditure and the other 30% of costs are paid by non-government organizations such as insurance and private payment. The bulk of the Australian healthcare system is publicly funded and approximately 70% of the total hospital beds in the country are located in Public hospitals.
While this affords the majority of the Australian population with low cost, high quality healthcare, there are some problems inherent in this type of healthcare system, namely the large amount of bureaucratic oversight into the way that medical organization run, and in turn extended waiting periods for patients who have less serious medical conditions. This has lead to a large amount of criticism directed towards the current healthcare establishment and has given way to the rapid development of a number of high quality private medical facilities and hospitals throughout the country.
The private medical facilities in Australia , while predominantly offering a higher quality of treatment than the public hospitals, have their own drawbacks. Australian private hospitals are much more expensive than the hospitals and clinics run by the government, primarily because they receive very little, or no, government funding and in order to cover basic operating costs they must charge higher prices than the fixed rates found at government hospitals. Private hospitals however do not have the issue of treatment delays or extensive oversight slowing down the treatment process, which means that, for people who can afford the care, private medical facilities in Australia offer a higher standard of service.
Overall Australia is an extremely healthy nation with a well rounded healthcare service. As is true with any country in the world, there are some problems inherent in the system, however most people are able to receive the care that they need when they need it. The only way to truly avoid the issues and concerns of any healthcare system in the world is through a quality international health insurance plan. These plans give you the flexibility to go to the doctor or hospital of your choice meaning that no matter where in the world you may be located, from Australia to the USA , you will always be able to receive the highest standard of care available.
Australia is a large nation with an extremely advanced and competitive economy. In recent years Australian development has been fueled with the nations many abundant resources in conjunction with innovative trade agreements with many Asian nations, including China .
To help you further understand Australia we have provided some general information about the country below. Please be advised that all the information on this page is meant for reference purposes only and is liable to change without warning, please consult an expert to learn more.
Official Name: Commonwealth of Australia , also known simply as Australia or Aus (OZ).
Capital: The capital of Australia is Canberra , located in the south east of the country below Sydney .
Location : Australia is situated in Oceania between the Indian ocean and the South Pacific Ocean . The country does not share a land border with any other nations, however it is within close proximity of Papua New Guinea , New Guinea , Indonesia , East Timor, The Solomon Islands and New Zealand .
Size: The Commonwealth of Australia comprises a total area of 7,686,850 square kilometers. This means that Australia is the 6 th largest country in the world and comparatively only just smaller that the lower 48 American states.
Climate: The interior of the country experiences an arid, or semi arid, climate year round, while northern parts of the country can experience tropical weather and the south can be classified as temperate.
Population: Australia has a total estimated population of 20,434,176. Australia is currently ranked 53 rd in the world for total population and is ranked 197 th in the world for population density, making the country one of the least densely populated places in the world.
Life expectancy at birth: There is an average life expectancy at birth of 80.62 years in Australia . This is one of the highest average life expectancies in the world and is a testament to the high standards of medical treatment available throughout Australia .
Prevalence of HIV/AIDS: Australia has a relatively low rate of HIV/Aids infection with only 0.1% of the population (approximately 14,000 people) living with the disease.
Major illnesses: While Australia is known to be an extremely healthy and athletic nation there are still a number of major disease concerns. Potential health threats include Dengue fever, Ross Fever, and Murray Valley Encephalitis. The major health threats in Australia are all vector borne illnesses and as such it is advised that you take all due precautions against mosquitoes and other insects.
Ethnic Groups: Australia is a fairly homogenous country with over 92% of the country boasting Caucasian ethnicity. Asians account for 7% of the total population while Aboriginal inhabitants account for the last 1%.
Languages: The official language of Australia is English and approximately 79.1% of the population speaks this as their first language. Other languages spoken throughout the country include Chinese (2.1%), Italian (1.9%), Other (11.1%), Unspecified (5.8%).
Religion: There are a large number of religions practiced throughout Australia. The major religions observed in Australia are Catholic (26.4%), Anglican (20.5%), other Christian (20.5%), Buddhist (1.9%), Muslim (1.5%), Other (1.2%), Unspecified (12.7%), and None (15.3%).
Government: Australia is a Federal Parliamentary Democracy, this means that the leader of the country (Prime Minister) is not directly elected by voters, but is, rather, the leader of the party that controls the majority of seats in the nation's parliament. As a federal country each Australian “state” has its own government and has the freedom to enact its own laws underneath any applicable federal laws. As is implied here all government legislative bodies are elected by the general public and there are strict rules regarding an individuals right to vote.
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II represented by Governor General Major general Michael Jeffery. This status is nominal and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth holds no actual political power in Australia .
Head of Government: Prime Minister Julia Gillard is the head of the Australian Government.
Military: Australia has an extremely well developed military and has troops serving in Army, Navy, and Air force divisions. Women are allowed to serve in army units, however they are limited in their duties to non-combatant support roles. The minimum age of enlistment into the Australian armed forces is 16 years of age, and currently the Australian government spends 2.4% of the country's total GDP on the military.
Economy : Australia boast a fairly formidable economy based on a free market system. Australia has an abundance of natural resources and it is these resources (coal, steel, timber) that have driven the local economy. Strong private business and high consumer confidence have also served to make Australia an economic powerhouse, and in conjunction with a number of innovative trade agreements with China , these are fueling the Australian economy to create one of the worlds new investment hotspots.
GDP: Australia has a purchasing power parity of US$ 674.6 billion, and an actual GDP of US$ 644.7 billion with a real growth rate of 2.7% per year.
For more information about Australia expat insurance, the locally compliant international health insurance plans that we can offer there, or to receive a free quote, please contact one of our expert advisers today.