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Accessing Healthcare overseas- Know Your Rights

Did you know that you may be able to access some types of health care without fees when you are travelling?

Many governments have agreements in place that cover the cost of essential medical treatment required BEFORE you are able to return home.

These agreements are known as Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA).

Why do you need to know this?

You should know this information before you travel so that you do not avoid medical treatment due to the fear of high costs or having to use your travel insurance.

If you take regular medication and need to top up your prescription, a stop in one of the countries below might be the perfect solution.

It is important to note that:


Sometimes people working in the healthcare system where you are travelling may not know about RHCA.

For example we recently needed to see a General Practitioner whilst staying in the United Kingdom, we attended our appointments, collected the required medication and were about to be on our way when we were asked to pay for:

• the appointment

• the medication

We were about to pay £200 for these services when we realised that Australia and the UK had an RHCA in place which the Practice Manager and staff were unaware of. A quick look at the internet and all we had to pay was £40 for the medications (a £160 saving). The Manager was quite pleased that we were able to supply her with the information and went off to find out more from the NHS about RHCAs. A win all round!

Are you Australian or travelling to Australia?

You NEED to know this information.

The Australian Government has RHCAs in place with the following governments:

• Belgium

• Finland

• Italy

• Malta

• the Netherlands

• New Zealand

• Norway

• the Republic of Ireland

• Slovenia

• Sweden

• the United Kingdom

How can you find out more information about RHCAs?

 If you are from one of the countries above or an Australian planning to travel to one of these countries the information you need is here.

If not you are best to check with your countries health department or authority before you travel.

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