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Protecting health care and community services

​​​Significant healthcare and community service costs

When determining if you meet the health requirement, a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) considers whether you have a health condition that will be a significant cost to the Australian community in terms of the health care or community services required to manage your condition. 

We use per capita data about health and community service costs to work out what your condition is likely to cost over a period of time:

  • for temporary visa applicants, this is your period of stay
  • for permanent visa applicants this is generally 5 years, or 3 years if you are aged 75 or older

If you have a permanent or ongoing condition with a reasonably predictable course, the MOC will estimate what your condition will cost the community over your remaining life expectancy up to a maximum of 10 years.

Having a disease or health condition does not always mean you will not meet the health requirement due to significant costs. The likely costs will depend on what kind of disease or condition you have and how severe it is.

We will not grant you a visa if you do not meet the health requirement because your condition is likely to be a significant cost, unless a health waiver is available and exercised.

We regard costs of AUD 51,000 or more to be significant.

Safeguarding access to health care and services

When the MOC determines whether you meet the health requirement, they will consider whether your condition is likely to prevent Australian citizens or permanent residents accessing health care or community services in short supply. We call this 'prejudicing access' to these services. 

We take advice from the Australian Department of Health on health care and community services that are considered short in supply. Examples include:

  • organ transplants
  • dialysis

The Department can consider exercising a health waiver for some visas where we are satisfied that granting the visa would be unlikely to:

  • result in significant cost to the Australian community, or
  • prejudice the access of Australian citizens or permanent residents to health care or community services in short supply