Reciprocal health agreement

(9 Posts)
CadleCrap Fri 19-Sep-14 10:02:19

My DH has returned to UK (UK citizens, Oz permanent residents ) for a visit and needs to go to the doctor, non-urgent a urine infection by the sound of it.

As soon as he said he was resident in Australia, they told him he had to go private. I think this is untrue because of the reciprocal health agreement but can find very little on it.

Any suggestions or am I completely wrong?

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BobbyGentry Fri 19-Sep-14 10:56:32

They are right, you have to be back in the U.K for 6 weeks to be eligible for free health care. If it's non-urgent (urine infection) then ask your local pharmacist. This is to prevent health tourists.

When visiting Oz though with Health Insurance they didn't charge due to a reciprocal agreement so you maybe right.

AutumnshadesofGold Fri 19-Sep-14 11:00:50

In Scotland this is wrong - we are bound to provide healthcare to all if deemed necessary by the GP. So for instance if he had a mole he had been worried about for months and chose his uk holiday to seek advice or treatment about it he would be charged but a uti/infection etc is emergency care & so free at point of provision.

CadleCrap Fri 19-Sep-14 11:47:04

The only thing I can find is this from trip advisor website which is not exactly an official website

Many Australians travellers who are covered by Medicare in Australia, may be unaware that they are entitled to reciprocal health care from a GP in the UK on the NHS. You are entitled to be treated by a doctor as an NHS patient & the cost of the consultation & prescription medicine prescribed by the doctor will be covered by the NHS the same as if you are a UK Resident. The Australian Medicare website now confirms this reciprocal health care agreement information very clearly.

Unfortunately the NHS in the UK does not provide clear, precise information about the reciprocal health care agreement it has with Australia & the result of this lack of clear information is that most UK doctors are of the opinion that they could only treat Australian travellers under the NHS if it was an emergency - defined by them as a life or death situation or an accident. Needing medication for chronic long term health problems is not covered according to them.

How to solve this problem and get the care you need? Go to the local hospital accident & emergency centre for treatment. Those staff are well aware of the reciprocal health agreements the UK has with other countries . You will be treated quickly, compassionately & efficiently by their staff and, if necessary, referred to their 24 Hour After Hours Clinic for prescriptions via the NHS.

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CadleCrap Fri 19-Sep-14 11:47:36

Thanks for replying btw smile

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chloeb2002 Fri 19-Sep-14 12:22:48

Cradle cap. Reciprocal health agreement is hugely misunderstood on both sides grin
You are right. Any illness that needs to be treated then will be treated on either side of the world. Exceptions are things like cosmetic surgery. In fact that's about all that's excluded!
Off to the gp at no cost. A uti can't be treated at the pharmacist as he probably needs antibiotics. wink

CadleCrap Fri 19-Sep-14 12:38:47

Thanks chloe. He is also a British citizen so don't understand why they are being weird? We are Not Australian citizens.

He could just lie about his address and be done with it, no one would question his Britishness with his accent grin

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specialsubject Fri 19-Sep-14 13:34:13

citizenship irrelevant, it is residence that counts. There appears to be no guidance regarding GP use!

no idea why the government haven't sorted this out, but here is what the BMA Say:

it seems to be at practice discretion. What do your travel insurers say?

BreakingDad77 Fri 19-Sep-14 13:49:47

This was some years ago with an ex who had broke an ankle and in same ward was an ozzie girl who had broken her arm doing some sort of adventure activity and they were semi pestering her for travel insurance information.

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