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8.7.7 Access to treatment overseas

Last amended: 1 December 2010

Access to treatment overseas, whether as a resident overseas or as a person travelling overseas, is discussed in Part 2.2 of the MRCA Treatment Principles and section 287(3) of the MRCA.

See also 8.4.7 Overseas Travel Vaccinations for Gold Card Holders.

Repatriation Health Cards cannot be used overseas.  When a person receiving treatment travels overseas they are still entitled to treatment, but only for service injuries or services diseases for which liability has been accepted.

Compensation is also limited to the cost of treatment that was reasonable for the person to obtain in the circumstances.  That is, treatment is generally limited to what would have been reasonable for a person receiving treatment under Treatment Pathway 1 in Australia.

The cost of treatment can only be reimbursed where the person informed the Department of their travel prior to travelling and original invoices and receipts (appropriately translated) are provided as proof of the treatment.  Any enquiries regarding the provision of medical treatment to overseas residents, who are either White or Gold Card holders, should be emailed to “overseastreatment@dva.gov.au”. Non Card holder claimant enquiries should be emailed to the Director, Benefits, Payments and Rehabilitation of DVA.

Where possible, prior to travel being undertaken, a person should be fully briefed by R&C staff regarding the above provisions and client responsibilities.

DVA does not have responsibility for the provision of any private health insurance costs incurred by a person who has a compensable injury and who is travelling overseas.

Where a person is required to take out private health cover for the period of time they are travelling or living outside of Australia and they incur a cost for the treatment of their compensable injury, DVA is able to consider:

  • reimbursement of any gap, or reasonable out-of-pocket expenses that the person may have incurred, above what their private health cover will meet;
  • payment of reasonable treatment costs, directly to the service provider; or
  • payment of reasonable treatment costs directly to the service provider, on behalf of the client, if the client can organise the provider to bill them.