Issue number:
22/2011
Date Issued:
21 Sep 2011
Issued to:
Public Hospitals
Purpose:
To advise Victorian public hospitals and public health services of arrangements regarding: Eligibility of residents and visitors from countries with which Australia has a RHCA to receive public renal dialysis services. Public hospitals should arrange for all relevant staff (eg Admission Officers, Medical Records Administrators, and Finance Officers) to be made aware of: Clarification of entitlements and the business rules for residents and visitors from all countries with which Australia has a RHCA to receive free renal dialysis services as a public patient. This circular should be read in conjunction with Hospital Circulars 23/2009 and 17/2011.

Background

Reciprocal Health Care Agreements

Australia has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCAs) operating with the Republic of Slovenia, Finland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Date of effect

This policy on access to renal dialysis services for residents and visitors from countries with which Australia has a RHCA takes effect from 1 November 2011.

Background

Access to renal dialysis services under the RHCAs varies across jurisdictions as generally renal dialysis is not specifically covered under RHCAs and individual jurisdictions make their own determinations. Following queries raised by Victorian public health services the department has developed a policy on access to dialysis services for visiting residents from countries with which Australia has a RHCA.

This policy applies to all visitors from Finland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands, the Kingdom of Belgium, Republic of Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

Eligibility

As defined in circular 23/2009 and 17/2011.

Period of cover

As defined in circular 23/2009 and 17/2011.

Entitlements

The department has determined that dialysis treatment as public patients will be provided to visitors from RHCA countries on the following conditions:

  • Eligible visitors covered by RHCAs are entitled to 12 procedures over a 3 month period of stay.
  • Access to renal dialysis services will be based on clinical need and service capacity of the health service providing renal dialysis services.
  • Eligible visitors are required to make arrangements with the health service prior to their arrival to ensure that renal dialysis services are available and can be provided.

Professor C W Brook PSM 
Executive Director
Wellbeing, Integrated Care and Ageing