Australian holiday/working visa. Insurance needed?

2 replies
Found 3rd Jan 2011
My son has just been granted a a holiday/working visa for Australia. He has holiday insurance through his bank, which obviously won't cover him. Does he need insurance...medical etc? If so, where from? Thanks in advance


Yes, he needs travel insurance. If it's a gap year thing a good place to start looking for info is STA travel.

Reciprocal healthcare arrangements exist between Australia and the UK. … Reciprocal healthcare arrangements exist between Australia and the UK. Under these, British citizens resident in the UK and travelling on a British passport are entitled to limited subsidised health services from Medicare Australia for medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia. This does not cover pre-existing conditions, or treatment that does not require prompt attention. These provisions do not apply to non-visitors, for example those who are studying in Australia. You should check Medicare Australia for further details.Other exclusions under the reciprocal agreement include pharmaceuticals when not a hospital in-patient, use of ambulance services and medical evacuations. The latter, in particular, are very expensive - with reported cases exceeding £100,000 for medical evacuations to the UK. You should take out comprehensive medical insurance before you travel to Australia as, if you are not covered under the reciprocal arrangements, costs for treatment can be high. See the General - Insurance section of this advice for more details in insuranceDengue, Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) and Ross River Fever occur periodically in northern parts of Australia (the Northern Territory, North Queensland and northern Western Australia). All three viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against them, but there are preventative measures that you can take, as advised on the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) website. A man died from MVE in Darwin in 2009. The dengue season officially begins each February. An outbreak in northern Queensland in 2009 led to over 900 confirmed cases in and around Cairns and Townsville. One elderly lady in Cairns died from dengue-related complications. A further 629 dengue cases were reported in Australia from January-October 2010. 34 cases of local transmission have been reported in and around Cairns and Townsville since July 2010, but the Queensland Government advises that as dengue-carrying mosquitoes usually breed in urban areas, the usual tourist activities in North Queensland - such as reef and rainforest trips - carry a low risk.There were 77 confirmed cases of Whitmore disease (melioidosis) in the Northern Territory in mid-2010, mainly in greater Darwin, but with cases reported in the Katherine and East Arnhem regions too. One case occurred as far south as Tennant Creek. Heavy rains increase the risk of a melioidosis outbreak, as the bacteria that cause it are found in surface water and mud, and may become airborne. Those most at risk are those with underlying conditions that impair the immune system such as diabetes. Please visit the NT Department of Health and Families website – - for more information.In 2009 much of Australia experienced the worst whooping cough (pertussis) outbreak in many years. Babies are the main victims of the potentially fatal and highly infectious disease, because they are too young to be (fully) immunized. South Australia experienced its worst outbreak on record, with almost 3,500 cases in 2009, compared with 859 in 2008 and 318 in 2007. A four-week old NSW baby who died in March 2009 was the first fatality from the disease in a decade.For more information, see the NSW Health website at: It was reported that two other children died in 2009.There was also a higher than normal incidence of cryptosporidiosis, a diarrhoeal disease caused by a parasitic infection of the intestine, in New South Wales in 2009. NSW Health reported 201 cases in February 2009, compared to 106 cases in January and 45 cases in December 2008. The highest rates of infections were in children under five. For more information, visit the NSW Health website, as above.In the 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 18,000 adults aged 15 or over in Australia were living with HIV; the prevalence rate was estimated at around 0.2% of the adult population. This compares to the prevalence rate in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. See our HIV and AIDS page. Seek medical advice before travelling to Australia and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the National Travel Heath Network and Centre NaTHNaC or NHS Scotland’s Fit for Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. See our Travel Health and Eat and Drink Safely pages and the UK Department of Health website.

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