Hospital costs

If you have Medicare, you do not need to pay for the services and medications you get when staying in a public hospital.

If you have to continue taking medication after you leave hospital, you might need to pay for those.

You can also choose to get treated as a private patient in a public hospital. If you do, you'll need to pay full price for all services and medications. Health insurance may help to cover some costs.

Travel costs

Patients required to be referred elsewhere for treatment may be eligible to access Patient Travel Subsidy support, were applicable.

Find out about the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme on the Queensland Government website.

Long-stay costs

If you can get Medicare, you can stay in the hospital for up to 35 days without having to pay. After that, you may need to pay fees, although this also depends on the type of care you're currently getting.

The 35-day period starts on the day you're admitted to hospital.

If you need acute or sub-acute care

Acute patients need to get treatment in a hospital. Sub-acute patients are those who are not seriously ill but need support in recovering.

If you need acute or sub-acute care, and are staying in hospital for 35 days or more, you'll be provided with an Acute Care Certificate. You do not need to pay fees.

If you don't need acute care

You're a long-stay patient if you:

  • have been in hospital for more than 35 days
  • haven't been discharged from hospital for more than 7 days during the 35 days
  • don't have an Acute Care Certificate
  • still need some care
  • may be waiting for a place in a nursing home.

Long-stay patients who don't need acute or sub-acute care pay a daily accommodation fee. The fees start from the 36th day.

The long-stay fee is 87.5% of a single aged pension.

If you need more information, ask your nurse, social worker or ward clerk.

If you're visiting Australia

Some of your treatment in Australia might be free if your home country has a reciprocal health care agreement with us.

Find out about reciprocal health care arrangements on the Services Australia website.

Last updated: November 2022