Cruising medical cover

Did you know that you are not necessarily covered by Medicare when travelling between two Australian ports?

Although the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel website claims that Medicare benefits are available for Australian citizens travelling between two Australian ports, this only applies if you are treated onboard by a doctor who is registered with Medicare.

As it stands cruise ships are not required to hire doctors registered with Medicare, and many ships choose not to do so. This is because doctors are often contracted on a global basis, not just for cruises within Australia, so it would be very difficult to find doctors who were registered simultaneously with multiple countries’ national health schemes.

An overnight stay in the sick bay while you are cruising can therefore cost you in excess of $3000.

So, even if you are just travelling a short distance between two Australian ports, it is important to take out travel insurance for the trip. It could save you a hefty sum in unexpected medical bills. If you have friends who travel on cruise ships it might also be a good idea to share this article with them, because knowing this small fact could save someone from an unnecessarily costly end to their holiday.

Do you always take out travel insurance if your cruise is staying within Australian waters? Has a cruising company made you aware of the fact that you won’t be covered by Medicare when you booked your tickets?