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What to do if I get sick in Australia? Tips in case of illness!

Of course, when planning work & travel, you would prefer to devote yourself to the pleasant things of your upcoming stay. Nevertheless, you should be prepared for an emergency and then know roughly what to do. Since you will probably be spending quite a long time in Australia, it is not entirely unlikely that you will get sick at some point. A health insurance abroad is therefore absolutely essential for every work & travel stay and also a prerequisite for the working holiday visa. In this article you will find out how to prepare for an emergency and what exactly to do in the event of illness or accident down under.

Take out long-term health insurance abroad

The most important thing is that you take out international health insurance before you travel, which will cover you for the entire duration of your stay abroad. Such insurance is compulsory for every Work & Traveler in Australia and proof of this can be requested upon entry. Most international health insurances are so flexible that you can easily shorten or extend them later abroad. The return ticket is usually sufficient as proof. When taking out such insurance, you should make sure that working abroad is not excluded from the insurance cover. It is also important that there is no upper limit for treatment costs or a very high deductible. Long-term international health insurance is available from around 30 euros per month, so it is significantly cheaper than health insurance in Germany. You can take out such insurance online in less than ten minutes.

More about long-term international health insurance

What to do when something really happens

If you get really sick, have an accident or have to see a doctor for other reasons, you usually have to pay the costs of the doctor's visit out of pocket first. That means, you put the money out first and can later claim it back from your international health insurance. To do this, you have to submit the original invoice. So it's best to do that when you're back in Germany. Because something can get lost on the long mail route from Australia to Germany. If the original invoice is gone, you won't get any money back. You can usually submit the invoices up to three years after the claim occurred. The exact period is regulated differently by the insurance companies. You should therefore ask your insurer in advance how long after the claim, invoices can be submitted. Often the insurance companies also require proof of the trip in the form of a return flight ticket. In the case of smaller amounts, the whole procedure is basically not a problem. Of course, it's annoying that you first have to pay the medical expenses out of your own pocket. But you can be sure that you will get the money back relatively easily after your return. It becomes more difficult with a long hospital stay, an emergency mission or a necessary operation, where the costs very quickly exceed the means of any Work & Traveler. In such extreme situations you can of course contact the insurance company and arrange for the hospital to settle all costs directly with the insurance company.

Work & Travel International Health InsuranceWell insured for your working holidays in Australia

International health insurance is the most important insurance you need for your work and travel stay in Australia. In Down Under neither the German health insurance companies pay nor can you use the usual travel health insurance, as these are usually limited to a period of around six weeks per year. As a work and traveler you need a special [...]

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Prevent diseases: vaccinations

In order to avoid possible doctor visits and long stays in hospital, you should take appropriate precautions before your stay in Australia. Vaccinations are a particularly important topic. With the right vaccinations for Work & Travel, you can avoid certain diseases that may have a long course of disease. Therefore, you should find out about recommended vaccinations for a Work & Travel stay in Australia from your family doctor at an early stage and, if necessary, have a corresponding vaccination plan drawn up for you. So that you start to Australia fully protected, you should not postpone this topic until the last moment. Some vaccinations need a certain amount of time to develop their full protective effect. With other vaccinations, such as the important hepatitis vaccinations, you will be given several injections with a few months between them. So, if possible, you should start your vaccinations at least six months before your departure. For a longer stay in Australia, no specific vaccinations are required when entering the country directly from Germany, but you should still have all standard vaccinations refreshed. These include:

  • Tetanus (tetanus)
  • Polio (polio)
  • rubella
  • mumps
  • measles
  • Diphtheria (infection of the upper respiratory tract)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • At particular risk: hepatitis A and B.

>> More about vaccinations for Australia

On-site prophylaxis

In Australia, too, there are some things you can do to avoid certain diseases. In northern Queensland, for example, dengue fever is widespread, against which there is unfortunately no effective vaccination. The extremely unpleasant infectious disease, which is popularly known as bone breaker fever, can cause serious damage to health and in individual cases even lead to death. The dengue virus is transmitted by the diurnal Aedes mosquito. If you are traveling in this part of Australia, you should protect yourself against mosquitoes, especially during the day. The most effective way to protect yourself is with a good bug spray and long clothing that covers as many parts of the body as possible. You should be particularly careful in the months of December to June, as there is an increased risk then. Another risk that you can minimize by taking appropriate precautionary measures on site is dangerous animals. As you probably already know, Australia is teeming with poisonous and other dangerous animals. Even if the risk of unwanted contact with such a living being is relatively low, you should minimize it further by strictly following warning notices and always finding out about local conditions from locals. Often dangers are also strongly seasonal. For example, from October to May, the "stinger season", on the north and east coast of the country you should only bathe in protected bathing areas or with a protective suit to protect yourself from the poisonous jellyfish in the water. It is always best to find out these important tips from the Australians themselves. In addition, you must always remember that the ozone layer is particularly thin in Australia and that you should always think of sun protection, even in cloudy weather. A sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (up to 100 can be found in every supermarket in Australia) and appropriate clothing are essential. In particularly hot weather, especially in the outback, you should always drink enough water and wear a hat to prevent heat stroke.


Good international health insurance for work & travel with low or no deductible, which covers the entire duration of your stay in Australia, is absolutely essential for every backpacker. In the event of illness, you should consult a doctor quickly and have appropriate medication prescribed instead of delaying the matter unnecessarily. Unfortunately, you usually have to bear the costs yourself first and will only be reimbursed by your insurance company afterwards. If the treatment costs are very high, you can arrange to have the costs covered by your insurance company directly. In order to keep illnesses on site as low as possible, you should take certain measures before the trip as well as on site.

>> The first-aid kit for Australia

>> Important vaccinations for Australia