Calls for all Australian visa applicants to have health insurance
16 February 2012
For concise and recent immigration information watch our news.The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is requesting that health insurance become mandatory for all Australian visa applicants. The request was made by vice president of the Victorian branch of the AMA, Stephen Parnis, following recent figures released by the AMA that shows the number of immigrants treated in the Victoria's public hospitals have tripled in the last six years.
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Currently, individuals on student visas and skilled workers and their dependents on 457 subclass visas are required to have health insurance as part of their entry conditions. It is not a requirement for Australian tourist visa applicants to have proof of health insurance. However, forcing visit visa holders to have medical insurance may put off people from visiting Australia and have a detrimental effect on the tourist industry.
Parnis' says that requiring health insurance for all visa categories would be a positive step for the medical industry.
"If people have the means to come to Australia on an international holiday they should have the means to make allowance for their own healthcare," said Parnis.
Australia has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with several countries including the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Italy, wherein citizens of these countries can access medical care in Australia in the same way as permanent residents. Although it is important to note, according to the report, most international patients seeking medical care in Australia were not from countries that fall under this agreement.
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