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291 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 239728 1-Aug-2018 11:36
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I'm a Kiwi who lived in Australia from 1995-2003 and became an Australian citizen while living there. I'm currently living in New Zealand and care for my mentally ill brother, who is on a couple of medications, one being Clozapine. This drug requires monthly blood tests as it can affect white blood cell count. I'm wanting to move back to Brisbane as I have a back injury that makes my life very unpleasant during the winter months in NZ, but it was much more tolerable when I lived in Brisbane, with its balmy, warm climate. My brother will have to come with me as other family members are unwilling to assist him. Of course, he will get no benefit in the Great Oz, but if I have work that should not matter much.

 

My question is will he get subsidized drugs via the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and will his monthly blood tests be free of charge?

 

Perhaps there are other Geekzone members who are currently living in Australia, or have recently lived in Australia, who have been on prescribed medication that needed regular blood tests.

 

What was your experience?

 

There is a reciprocal healthcare agreement between New Zealand and Australia:

 

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/rhca-visiting-from-new-zealand

 

There is an Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

 

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/pharmaceutical-benefits-scheme#a2

 

Given those two facts, I'm thinking my brother will be covered.

 

I'm unwilling to contact Australian authorities directly about this; knowing what a hard-nosed bunch they are, they might block my brother from getting a Special Category Visa because of costs associated with his care. Better to apply for the medicine and blood tests once in Australia.

 

 

 

 


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351 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2066239 1-Aug-2018 12:14
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Short answer, yes. Any NZ citizen (and I am assuming your brother is) that can prove they have moved to Australia permanently is entitled to a medicare card, and therefore the PBS. Having said that SCVs are not issued for people "with significant health problems", so it would definitely pay to check if your brother can relocate to Australia. The current Australian government have proven time and time again that they will revoke a SCV from NZ citizens and deport them on the spot if they no longer meet the requirements.


Mad Scientist
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  Reply # 2066245 1-Aug-2018 12:25
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Yes, free everything except for social services.


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  Reply # 2066264 1-Aug-2018 12:27
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I agree - you need to check this out.  I don't think the drug would cost much without subsidy - it's probably very cheap - it's the blood tests that'll probably cost and a complication that a Dr probably wouldn't prescribe the drug without monitoring - so there's a potential issue.

 

Why not ask (or get your bother to ask) his Dr here for advice first - I doubt it's a unique situation so they'd have probably come across it before - and they wouldn't disclose any information about your brother to anybody in Australia.


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  Reply # 2066265 1-Aug-2018 12:28
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Free healthcare with Medicare card. Blood tests are covered.


BTR

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  Reply # 2066297 1-Aug-2018 13:36
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I would suggest you talk to an immigration specialist to make sure your brother is able to apply for permanent residency. Good Luck


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2066301 1-Aug-2018 13:44
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BTR:

 

I would suggest you talk to an immigration specialist to make sure your brother is able to apply for permanent residency. Good Luck

 

 

Unless the OP's brother was a protected SCV holder, there is no automatic pathway to permanent residency for NZ citizens living in Australia (with one exception)




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2066306 1-Aug-2018 13:54
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Batman:

 

Free healthcare with Medicare card. Blood tests are covered.

 

 

I think once my brother gets a Medicare card, everything should be free as you say. You have to reside in Oz for 6 months before you qualify for a Medicare card, so we will have to cover the cost of blood tests for the first 6 months. I don't think it would be possible for my brother to become a permanent resident or an Australian Citizen. Still, he would get a pension when he got to the qualifying age.

 

Thanks for your posts.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2066312 1-Aug-2018 14:05
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KiwiTim:

 

I think once my brother gets a Medicare card, everything should be free as you say. You have to reside in Oz for 6 months before you qualify for a Medicare card

 

 

That's not true. As long as you can prove to Medicare that you intend to reside in Australia, then you can apply for a card straight away. I applied in the first week I arrived.


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  Reply # 2066323 1-Aug-2018 14:12
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One other thing to consider is what would happen if anything happened to you.  If he isn't eligible for any social care and you passed away what would happen?


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  Reply # 2066340 1-Aug-2018 14:42
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blackjack17:

 

One other thing to consider is what would happen if anything happened to you.  If he isn't eligible for any social care and you passed away what would happen?

 

 

 

 

That's a good point.

 

 

 

Although I suppose it applies wherever the OP and his brother are living?








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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2066350 1-Aug-2018 14:57
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Geektastic:

 

blackjack17:

 

One other thing to consider is what would happen if anything happened to you.  If he isn't eligible for any social care and you passed away what would happen?

 

 

 

 

That's a good point.

 

 

 

Although I suppose it applies wherever the OP and his brother are living?

 

 

 

 

Yes, that is a very good point. If I died he'd be in quite a mess here, of course. Over there, it would be catastrophic. As things stand, financially we'd be better off over there. A lot to weigh up!


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