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James Foreman

TSS 482, medicare eligibility & prescription medicine

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hi, we are flying in on a TSS 482 on 15th Feb 22, we currently are not seeking PR

from my understanding we need to get medical insurance as part of the visa terms , bit can still apply for medicare

We both take regular prescription medicines as well, what is the best way of sorting these out once in Perth?

many thanks in advance !

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You need to organise Overseas Visitors Health insurance. There is a special version for UK residents who can also claim Medicare. 

Note I said residents not citizens, you need to be ordinarily resident in the UK to qualify.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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10 hours ago, James Foreman said:

We both take regular prescription medicines as well, what is the best way of sorting these out once in Perth?

Find a GP, register, take along any medical history and hope that they continue to prescribe the same things - they may not, some drugs aren't used here but they will generally offer an alternative. It seems to be a thing for most  UK emigrants to need to find a bulk billing GP but that's not necessary, Medicare was built on a co-pay system so most of us pay to go to the GP and we also pay for prescriptions. You can go to whichever practice you want and you  can go and change if you dont like what's on offer but (around here anyway) the best practices shut their books regularly.  When you arrive, ask around amongst your acquaintances about which doctors are the "best" in the locality.  Register for reciprocal medicare first though. 

Edited by Quoll

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10 hours ago, James Foreman said:

We both take regular prescription medicines as well, what is the best way of sorting these out once in Perth?

Sorry, forgot this bit.

If you can, bring enough of your prescription medicine to last a couple of months.  That will give you time to get settled and sort out Medicare.  And bring your prescriptions with you.

You don't "register" with a doctor here. You just make an appointment to see a doctor, and you're under NO obligation to stay with that practice.  Show the doctor your prescriptions (or the medicine).  If it's a common medication, they'll likely give you the same or the Australian equivalent, no problem.   If you're on something unusual, it would be worth getting a letter from your UK doctor/specialist, or getting a copy of your medical history. 

If the doctor is reluctant to prescribe and you're not happy, just make an appointment with another practice and try again.  

To explain bulk biilling:   

Medicare is not like the NHS.  Outside the public hospital system, doctors, pathologists, specialists etc are not employed by Medicare.  They have to run their own business, which means they set their fees based on what they need to make a living.  You pay the fee, then you claim some of it back from Medicare (these days, the doctor's surgery can often organise the claim for you, on the spot).

Then there are the doctors who "bulk bill".   With bulk billing, the doctor charges you nothing.  He just claims a set fee from Medicare for every patient he sees, in one "bulk bill" once a month.  This means they're earning less per patient, but on the other hand, they need fewer staff because it cuts their administration - they don't have to handle money or credit cards, and their accounting is much simpler. 

Bulk-billing practices have earned a reputation for churning patients through quickly to improve their income.  The perception is that GP's who set their own fees are more likely to take their time and give you personal attention, because they're able to charge a fair fee for their time.   I've been here over 30 years and tried both at various times and I've found that's not always the case. I've had some excellent treatment from bulk-billing doctors and vice versa. 

Quoll mentions practices shutting their doors to new patients.  I've never encountered that in Sydney or Melbourne so I'd say it will vary depending where you are in Australia.

 

 


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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