Migrants + Visitors
Victoria's population is made up of people from all over the world.
For many visitors and migrants, accessing healthcare can be a different experience to your home country. Victoria might have different laws, processes and services compared to countries overseas.
For visitors coming to Victoria temporarily (eg tourists and working holiday visa holders), it is important to have healthcare cover as you will not be covered under Australia’s public Medicare system. You may need to buy private health insurance before you arrive. Also, not all private health care plans will cover sexual and reproductive health services, such as pregnancy care, abortion, and contraception options, so check your policy.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreements
Australia has an agreement with 11 countries worldwide, to cover the cost of “medically necessary care” when visitors from these countries visit Australia. These countries include: Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, not all sexual and reproductive health services may be considered “medically necessary,” so if you think you may need additional services, look into buying private health insurance.
For long-term migrants (such as permanent residents) to Australia, you may be eligible for healthcare under Australia’s public Medicare system.
You can also find information specific to international students or asylum seekers and refugees on our website.
English Language Supports
If you need support in languages other than English, ask your health service for an interpreter.
Workers at GP clinics, hospitals and pharmacies can access free Translating and Interpreting Services for anyone in Australia with a Medicare card. Interpreting services can be used for:
- arranging appointments
- medical treatment
- providing medical test results
- Better Health Channel: Overseas visitors and healthcare
- Healthy Horizons
Health information for migrant and refugee women
- Multicultural Health Connect
Call this helpline for health information and advice in your language, from staff who understand your culture.
Call 1800 186 815 between 11:30am to 8pm, 7 days a week, including public holidays.
- Live in Melbourne:
- Services Australia: Reciprocal Health Care Agreements
- Australian Government:
- Health Translations
Health Translations is an online library which enables health practitioners and those working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to easily find free translated health information to assist their patients. It is an initiative of the Victorian Government and is managed by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, providing easy access to an extensive collection of translated health information. The website is the most reliable and comprehensive collection of multilingual health information produced by Australian organisations.
- Private Health Insurance Ombudsman
This is an Australian government site, which provides independent private health insurance information and lets you compare health insurance policies from every Australian health insurer.
If you need to make a complaint about your private health insurance, you can contact:
1300 362 072 (weekdays, 9am-5pm)
- inTouch – The Multicultural Centre against Family Violence - 1800 755 988
Provides support, advice and advocacy in response to issues of family violence in migrant and refugee communities.
9am – 5pm, Monday - Friday
- Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
A community-based, not-for-profit organisation led by and for women from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Provides multilingual resources, free health education and training
- Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health - Multicultural Health & Support Service
Works with refugee and migrant communities, and health professionals, to prevent HIV, viral hepatitis and other STIs