Prescriptions whilst in Australia

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Prescriptions whilst in Australia

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Australia
1. Posted by em20uk (Inactive 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi, I'm hoping to go to Oz on a working holiday visa for a year from the UK. I currently have a couple of prescriptions which I need every month and am struggling to work out how that will work whilst in Oz. I have looked on medicare but im still not sure how things work. I understand you have to pay for doctors appointments too! And prescriptions seem to be around £12 each! Am I right or is there a way to get them cheaper etc. Thanks

2. Posted by Buckra (Budding Member 61 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Ok Em well most Australians have a Medicare card because it reduces the cost of visits to certain doctors. Not all doctors will accept Medicare unfortunately. My advice would be to try and get a card as soon as you can on your arrival. Having said that Australian doctors are not as expensive as overseas from what I can gather. Prescription medicines fall into basically two categories. Those not on what we call ""The List'' are very expensive but they are more than likely to be very powerful drugs for fighting serious illness. Most of those medicines that need to be prescribed for normal useage are not all that expensive. What you need to do therefore is go to a doctor in Australia, tell him what medication you are on and can he write scrips for you. It is best way to go and they often do you enough scrips for 3-4 return visits to the chemists/pharmacies. Trust this helps in some sort of way. Have fun. :)

3. Posted by hellomaya (Budding Member 26 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey Em

Australia and the UK have a Reciprocal Health Agreement

Which means while you're in Australia you'll pay the same as an Australian for doctors, specialists, hospitalisation, etc.

Some doctors do what's called "bulk billing", which means you won't pay anything to see them. Others have a "gap" fee (which means they charge more than the government reimburses) which you have to pay. So just make sure you ask if a doctor bulk bills before you see them. Most GPs do.

As far as prescriptions go, most pharmacies have generic brands which are cheaper than brand name drugs, just remember to ask. I get the Pill cheaper when I buy 3 or 4 months supply in one go. Chemist Warehouse may be a bit cheaper than your average pharmacy. You can check out how much your prescription will cost here:

4. Posted by Chelle81 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi I am also coming to Oz this year for a year on WHV and am worried about getting my Asthma medication. I am from Ireland and don't think we have access to the Medicare Scheme. Can anyone tell me what my options are?