Health, Welfare, Medicare and Private Health Schemes in Western Australia

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Helping you to Settle in Perth

Medicare in Western Australia is what we know as the National Health System in the UK.

Contribution to the health care system is made through taxes and the Medicare levy, which is based on taxable income.


Medicare is available to all who reside in Western Australia and hold citizenship or have a permanent visa and it covers all visits to GP’s and public hospital costs. It does not cover Ambulances and you are advised to take out additional cover for this.


Alongside the state health system Medicare, Australia also has Private Health Insurance. Nearly half of all Australians are covered by Private Health Insurance.

Private health insurance takes the pressure on Medicare. It plays a key role in covering Australiansā€™ needs with more than a third of all hospital treatments performed through private health cover.

There are many companies offering Private Health Cover. They are regulated by The Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC)

Compare health insurance policies with the Health Insurance Professionals. Compare Select and Save with iSelect


In an emergency;

  • Dial 000 from any land line phone. This is a free call from any phone.
  • Dial 112 from a mobile phone. The operator will ask if you require police, fire or paramedic.
  • If you require the Police and it is not an emergency then dial 131444. Save 000 for emergencies only.


If you need medication during, a prescription must be obtained from a doctor and the medicine dispensed by a chemist.

Fees are payable for both the consultation ($40 approx although some will allow for bulk billing which will cover the complete cost) and the treatment but you can claim around 75% of the consultation cost back from Medicare (you must show your Medicare card at the time of the consultation) and if you show your card at the chemist then reduced cost on a majority of medicines is available.

Chemists are open at regular shopping hours, 9am to 5pm, but every major town has at least one 24-hour pharmacy. Standard medical items such as Band-Aids and aspirin are readily available from service stations, general stores, supermarkets.


If you are hospitalised, expect to pay from $600 per day for your bed and anywhere from $200 to $2000 for surgery, depending on the operation. Medicare will cover the cost of most hospital stays although you may have to wait for non urgent treatment via Medicare.


Centrelink is the government agency that is responsible for providing social services and assistance to the Australian people.

Once you arrive in Australia as a permanent resident there is generally a 2 year waiting period before you can claim benefits.

Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Benefit are exceptions,they can be claimed immediately.

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