The Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, has welcomed the Queensland Government's decision to allow international students with Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to access treatment at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
Senator Evans wrote to the Queensland Government earlier this year urging them to ensure international students received the treatment they were entitled to.
"This decision recognises the entitlement of international students to health care in Australia under their OSHC insurance, and the important contribution that international students make to Queensland's economy and society," Senator Evans said.
"I strongly encourage all state and territory governments to adopt a similar approach and consider that these crucial services should be provided to international students who have served the appropriate waiting periods specified in their insurance policies."
Senator Evans reiterated calls for wider reforms that would give international students access to benefit from travel concessions that local students enjoy.
"It is time that the New South Wales and Victorian Governments act, as all other states and territories have done, to extend concession transport fares to international students," Senator Evans said.
"The international education sector makes an enormous contribution to the economy, generating around $15.7 billion annually and supporting around 125,000 jobs.
"The Australian Government has invested much effort into improving international students' study and living experiences in order to attract more students to Australia.
"We have significantly raised the quality of the international experience to give greater protection to visiting students. We have also updated the student visa program to enhance the integrity and competitiveness of the international education sector.
"Better access to obstetric services, as well as travel concessions, would enhance our reputation around the world for providing a first class study and living experience for students.
"We believe it is only fair that access to these services, enjoyed by domestic students, be extended to international students who study with them."
Media Contacts: Senator Evans' office Amy McKenna 0408 570 603
16 August 2012