Public Healthcare Access – Asylum seeker Healthcare and Services
Healthcare access for people seeking asylum who do not have a Medicare Card
People seeking asylum in Australia who are not eligible for a Medicare Card can access public hospitals in Queensland free of charge.
Public health services
The Fees and Charges for Health Care Services Directive states that Hospital and Health Services (HHS) must ensure there are no costs directly charged to Medicare-ineligible asylum seekers for public health services.
HHSs should seek reimbursement from other sources before writing off the fees:
- When an asylum seeker who lives in community or facility-based detention accesses public hospital services, fees can be directed to the Department Home Affairs via its health service provider, International Health and Medical Services.
- Some asylum seekers may qualify to have their healthcare costs covered through the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS). Clients should provide a Letter of Supply from their SRSS service provider. HHSs can also contact the person’s SRSS provider if they have their consent.
Public health services include (but are not limited to) medical services, surgery, allied health services, mental health services, pathology, radiology, cardiology and maternity. GP services in some rural and regional areas are covered, where they are employed through or by an HHS.
Public health services do not include:
- Pharmaceuticals – pharmaceuticals are included under the Australian Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme and governed under the National Health Act 1953 (see information on pharmaceuticals below).
- Dental fees – (see information on Oral Health services below)
- GP services – GP services are not normally provided by HHSs except in some rural and regional areas. In those areas the Fees and Charges for Health Care Services Directive applies. The Directive does not apply to providers who are not employed through or by an HHS, such as private providers.
- Private practice clinic consultations – private consultations are not a public health service under the Fees and Charges for Health Care Services Directive.
Oral Health services
The Oral Health Services Eligibility – Queensland Health Guideline states that asylum seekers are entitled to a priority general course of public oral health services that are delivered through Hospital and Health Services in Queensland.
As proof of eligibility, a referral form is required from an authorised support agency or community health clinic.
Fees for pharmaceuticals should not be charged to people seeking asylum if they do not have a Medicare card under the Consistent patient charges for pharmaceuticals in Queensland Health institutions.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to recover costs from International Health and Medical Services and SRSS Providers (e.g. Red Cross, Access Community Services and Multicultural Australia). New entrants placed on a temporary visa while a decision on their Medicare-eligibility is being made, can contact their allocated SRSS providers to see whether there are options to recover costs.
Where costs cannot be recovered by the IHMS or SRSS provider, they will be borne by the Hospital and Health Service.
Information for Hospital and Health Service Staff
This Information Sheet for HHS Staff provides guidance on the responsibilities of Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) in the provision of healthcare to people residing in Queensland who are seeking asylum.
Information for asylum seeker service providers
The information sheet for service providers provides guidance on how service providers can confirm the status of asylum seekers living in the community whose bridging visas have expired, so they can receive free healthcare from Queensland Hospital and Health Services.
Information for Ukrainians in Queensland without Medicare
This Information Sheet explains how people who have recently arrived from the Ukraine on temporary visas can access Queensland Health public hospital and healthcare services for free.
A translated version is avaiable:
- Russian (русский) + English - Public healthcare access - Ukrainians in Queensland without Medicare
- Ukrainian (Українська) + English - Public healthcare access - Ukrainians in Queensland without Medicare
Healthcare access factsheets for people seeking asylum who do not have a Medicare Card
People seeking asylum in Australia who are not eligible for a Medicare Card can access public hospitals in Queensland free of charge. Please refer to Queensland Health Fees for Health Care Services Health Directive (QH-HSD-045:2016).
Public Healthcare Access – Translated Asylum Seeker Factsheets
- Medicare Factsheet for Ayslum Seekers_Amharic (አማርኛ) + English
- Medicare Factsheet for Asylum Seekers_Arabic (عربي) + English
- Medicare Factsheet for Asylum Seekers_Dari (درى) + English
- Medicare Factsheet for Asylum Seekers_Farsi (فارسی) + English
- Medicare Factsheet for Asylum Seekers_Tamil (தமிழ்) + English
- Medicare Factsheet for Asylum Seeker_Tok Pisin + English
- Medicare Factsheet for Asylum Seekers_Urdu (اردو) + English