Treatment for Overseas Students in Australia: What You Should Know

Are you looking to study in Australia?

Australia can be a great place to live and study. However, for international students, navigating a new health system and making sure you have access to treatment during your stay can be tricky.

Below are some of the questions we receive frequently from students just like you!

Where is treatment available and how does it work?

There are treatment centres for thalassaemia in all major cities in Australia. Transfusions and thalassaemia treatment is readily available in these hospitals and while other hospitals might not have the same level of thalassaemia expertise, they would still be able to provide transfusions.  

To arrange treatment, contact the hospital directly.

For a list of all the main treatment centres visit our website: 

How do I access general health care in Australia?

The Australian health care system has two major types of health care,  Primary Health Care and Secondary Health Care.

Primary health is the first port usually the first contact in access health care. This is usually through a General Practitioner. Through primary health providers, you will be able to be referred to specialists and Secondary Health Care such as hospitals.

For more information on Australia’s Health System have a read of this Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Publication.

What are the costs of treatment?

If you don’t do not have permanent resident status or specific visa statuses in Australia, you will have to pay the full fee for treatment and medication.

Costs per hospital visit can vary depending on the situation and hospital. A rough guide for a standard visit for a transfusion is around $1500AUD (excluding additional tests and scans required).

Can I take out an insurance plan to cover the cost of treatment?

International students are required to obtain OSHC (Overseas student health cover), which can cover costs relating to treatment.

However, the treatment of a chronic, pre-existing condition such as thalassaemia will be subjected to a 12-month waiting period. 

During that waiting period, access to healthcare listed under the Medical Benefits Scheme and unrelated to pre-existing conditions will be covered.

A list of insurers and more tips can be found here on the Aushealth Hospital website.  

Contact your insurer before seeking treatment to confirm and exclusions and what out of pocket costs you should expect.

Can I become a member of Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Australia while I am here?

Yes! We welcome all students and new residents to join our family. You will have access to our events and programs as well as be informed of new updates. Becoming a member will also help us advocate on your behalf should you need it.

What if I have more questions?

We are here to help! Send your questions through our contact form and we will be in touch!