Overseas and compensable patients

If you are an overseas visitor or student and your child or dependent needs health care at Perth Children’s Hospital, emergency medical care and planned treatment will be provided.

It is important to understand the costs that are related to your child or dependent's visit. 

Visiting PCH as an overseas patient

People with working and student visas should arrange for their own private health insurance to assist in covering hospital costs.

Tourists and other visitors are encouraged to arrange appropriate travel insurance. Please ensure you are familiar with your health or travel insurance coverage and all children or dependents are added to your policy.

In the unfortunate event that your child or dependent is required to attend Perth Children’s Hospital for medical treatment, you will be charged for the attendance and any subsequent treatment related to your child or dependant. It is important to understand that these charges are set by the WA Department of Health.

Charges applicable to overseas patients may include:

  • Hospital accommodation
  • Radiology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacy
  • Consultants’ professional fees
  • Prosthetic costs
  • Emergency attendance
  • Outpatient attendance

Insurance coverage is a personal responsibility of the parent or guardian of the patient and prepayment of charges may be requested at the time of visit or during your child or dependent’s admission. The parent or guardian is responsible for the charges and any issues of health insurance are between the parent or guardian and the insurer. 

If you are an Australian Resident returning home permanently and have been living out of the country for 5 years or longer you will be treated as an Overseas Visitor and will be charged for your hospital visits. It is recommended you re-enrol in Medicare and provide the hospital with your new Medicare number for your child or dependent in order to be treated as a public patient for any future visits. Find out more about re-enrolling in Medicare on the Services Australia website.


Reciprocal Health Care Agreements

Overseas visitors holding a valid visa and being a resident of a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) country are eligible for ‘medically necessary’ treatment.

‘Medically necessary’ treatment covers ill-health or injury that occurs while visiting Australia and requires treatment before their return home.

Countries with reciprocal health agreements with Australia are:

  • United Kingdom including Northern Ireland
  • Malta
  • Italy
  • Sweden
  • New Zealand
  • The Netherlands
  • Finland
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Norway
  • Belgium
  • Slovenia

Only overseas visitors on student visas from the following countries are covered by RHCAs:

  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • the Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Sweden
  • Italy

Most foreign students studying in Australia are not covered by a RHCA. These students are required to take out Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and must maintain that cover throughout their stay in Australia as part of their visa requirements.

In order for the Reciprocal agreement to apply to your child or dependent's visit, you will need to refer to your country's current agreement with Australia and supply the relevant information to a Revenue Liaison Officer.


Compensable patients

Compensable patients are those patients who are subject to compensation claims in relation to injuries that might be treated at the hospital. These patients are not classed as public or private patients.  

Patients who have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Australia that is covered by motor vehicle accident coverage will have charges raised and sent to the Motor Vehicle Insurance Trust.  

Patients subject to workers’ compensation or other compensation claims will have charges raised and sent to the appropriate party dealing with charges related to the compensation claim. 

Charges applicable to compensable patients may include hospital accommodation, radiology, pathology, consultants’ professional fees, prosthetic costs and outpatient attendance.