Australia’s national health insurance scheme, Medicare, is designed to help pay for healthcare in other countries.
It is one of many benefits offered to Australians in a bid to reduce costs in Australia.
Medicare provides medical assistance to the needy and covers basic needs such as hospitalisation, medication, prescriptions and lab tests.
But there is a huge gap between the health service in Australia and other developed countries such as Canada and the US.
The Australian Medical Association says more than 60 per cent of Australians have no access to free or reduced-cost care overseas, compared with 40 per cent in Canada and 25 per cent overseas.
The AMA says more Australians with serious illnesses and other medical conditions are dying overseas than at home.
It says the country has one of the highest rates of deaths overseas of people under 65 in the world, at 25 per 100,000 people.
The medical system in Australia has a high proportion of specialists working in hospitals, private clinics and other specialised medical units.
It also has a highly skilled workforce, including nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals.
But there is an ongoing debate about how best to pay the bills of the health system overseas, particularly in Australia’s big cities.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised to increase funding for Australia’s international health service, and has pledged to increase the number of overseas specialists working there.
He has also pledged to create a national Medicare payment system, where doctors and nurses can be paid for their work in other parts of the country.
“This will help us deliver more affordable and more effective health services, which is exactly what we need,” Mr Abbott said in a statement last month.
Topics:health,health-policy,government-and-politics,government,foreign-affairs,united-statesFirst posted September 08, 2019 13:34:00More stories from Victoria