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.

You’re covered for medically necessary inpatient and outpatient care in a public hospital under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. Outpatient care doesn’t include visits to a medical practitioner.

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

Who can get it

To be eligible, you must have been both:

  • a resident of Ireland
  • 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. This means we won't cover any of your medical costs.

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.

What’s covered

The agreement covers both:

  • medically necessary care as a public patient including public hospital inpatient and outpatient services
  • some Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription medicines at the general rate under the PBS.

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

If you’re a diplomat

Your cover isn’t limited to inpatient and outpatient care. You’re entitled to full Medicare benefits.

What documents you need to show

At a 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 either your:

  • Irish passport
  • 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 March 2022.
QC 38171