Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) between Ireland and Australia
Are you an Irish citizen planning to travel to Australia or an Australian citizen planning to visit Ireland? If yes, then you can benefit from the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) that is in place between the two countries.
The RHCA is an agreement signed between the governments of Australia and Ireland that allows citizens of both countries to access health care services while visiting the other country. The agreement covers essential health care services at no cost or reduced cost compared to non-RHCA countries.
If you are an Irish citizen traveling to Australia, you need to enroll in Medicare, which is the Australian equivalent of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE). Once you enroll in Medicare, you are entitled to the same level of health care services as Australian citizens, including access to public hospitals and subsidized medicines.
On the other hand, if you are an Australian citizen traveling to Ireland, you are entitled to free access to public hospitals and medical services under the Irish medical card system. However, you need to apply for a medical card, which is a proof of eligibility, and it is important to note that not all medical services are covered.
The RHCA covers essential health care services, such as medically necessary treatment for illness or injury, emergency care, and maternity care. However, it does not cover elective or non-essential health care services, such as cosmetic surgery or dental care. It is, therefore, advisable to take out travel insurance to cover the costs of these services.
To be eligible for the RHCA, you need to be a citizen of either Ireland or Australia and have a valid passport. Additionally, you need to be living in the country where you are a citizen and have a permanent address. The agreement also covers certain visa holders, such as those on working holiday visas, but not all visa types.
In conclusion, the RHCA between Ireland and Australia is a great benefit for citizens of both countries who are planning to travel. It provides peace of mind knowing that you can access essential health care services while away from your home country. However, it is important to note that the agreement does not cover all health care services, and travel insurance should be considered to cover any gaps in coverage.