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Q: Do I have to have health insurance in Australia?
A: Yes. All international students are required to have current health insurance at all times during their stay in Australia. (See visa condition 8501). As a commencing international student, you must pay for your health insurance when you pay your fees to Deakin.
Q: What do I do if I get sick?
A: If you see a doctor at Deakin, you will not be required to pay the consultation fee. You are required to present your OSHC card at the time of each consultation. Vaccinations do require payment on the day of seeing the doctor or nurse. The receipt should be kept as you may be able to claim a portion of the cost through your OSHC provider. The doctors at Deakin claim directly from the following health insurance providers, Medibank, Worldcare and BUPA.
If you are unable to see a Doctor at a Deakin Medical Centre, reception staff can provide the names of medical clinics close to your campus.
Doctors at clinics outside of Deakin usually charge an initial consultation fee that you may need to pay first and then claim the fee back from your health provider. In some cases, you may be required to pay the 'gap', which is the difference between the amount that the health fund will pay and the amount charged by the Doctor. You should always check with the Doctor’s office first to ask if there is a 'gap' payment and how much it will be. Please understand that Deakin has no control over how much external clinics charge for Doctor’s consultations. Fees can vary amongst medical clinics as doctors don’t charge set fees.
When visiting any Doctor, whether at Deakin or an external clinic, always make sure that you present your OSHC card. The reception staff do not know which OSHC provider you are with unless you tell them. There is more than one provider of OSHC cover and it is important that you know who you are with.
Q: How do I get my medical insurance card?
A: Most students at Deakin have their health insurance with BUPA. If your health insurance is with BUPA, you will need to order your card online AFTER you arrive in Australia. You will be given details of how to do this at your Orientation program. If you do not have health cover under BUPA, please speak to an International Student Adviser on your campus. Your ISA will be able to help you find out how to get your card.
Q: Do I need an appointment to see a Doctor in Australia?
A: Yes. It is important to note that most Medical Centres require you to book an appointment to see a doctor and do not provide walk in appointments, except in cases of a medical emergency. Students with OSHC health cover do not have priority for appointments. Medical Centres both at Deakin and in the community experience a high demand for appointments and an appointment may not be available on the day required. If you believe you do need to see a doctor and cannot gain an appointment please visit a Deakin Medical centre and consult the campus nurse who can assist and provide information and advice as required. Referral to an external medical centre clinic may be required.
Q: Is medication covered by my health insurance?
A: Medication is usually NOT covered by your health insurance and is usually NOT dispensed by the Doctor. If you require medication which cannot be provided by a pharmacist over the counter, you will need to see a doctor to get a prescription. A pharmacist / chemist can provide the medication once you present the prescription. You will have to pay for your medication at the Pharmacy.
Q: Can I bring my own medicine into Australia?
A: Bringing medication into Australia for your own personal use is usually possible; however, you should always declare such medications at Customs when you arrive. Some medications are either restricted or prohibited and you need to be very careful about what you bring in. More information about bringing medicine into Australia can be found on the Australian Government's Health website.