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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can an Irish WHV claim crohns disease medication under Pharma benefits (PBS)?


    I was just wondering if you could tell me if Irish citizens coming over to Australia on skilled working visas are entitled to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme(PBS)under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement(RHCA) between Australia and Ireland.
    I am a 23 year old engineer and thinking about moving to Australia and am finding it difficult to find out if my medication might be covered if I move over. I was recently put on Humira (adalimumab)and it is quite expensive and this is why I am eager to find out if I would be covered.
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    For more than 25 years, Crohn’s & Colitis Australia™ (formerly the Australian Crohn’s and Colitis Association) has been making life more liveable for more than … View Profile

    You first need to check the various working visa requirements on the Australian government's Immigration department website as it may be necessary to have adequate insurance in order to be granted a visa and for at least the initial period when you arrive in Australia.  If eligible for a ‘skilled independent worker’ visa and you pass all the health and character checks, then this would mean you can live and work in Australia permanently.  This entitles you to receive subsidised health care through Medicare and PBS medicines, including Humira.  Ordinarily, visitors from RHCA countries can access PBS medicines (and Humira) if needed.  Whether a visitor from a RHCA country or if coming here as an independent skilled worker, anyone on anti-TNF medication should bring with them supporting documentation showing that they were elgible in their own country to be on this treatment  and it should demonstrate that there has been a response to the treatment.  Your specialist can help provide this documentation and can view and download the relevant CDAI form used in Australia, which is available on the Medicare Australia website. Check what the allowable quantity of medication you are able to take out of your country with you.  This should be enough for the initial period you are here and give you time to see a GP to get a referral to a gsatroenterologist who would then have to organise and submit the paperwork for the treatment to be approved, upon which the gastroenterologist can then prescribe and commence the treatment. It is essential you research this further and get all the details relevant to the visa you are seeking and what it will entitle you to.

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