337 - Health Care
Published January 17, 2008
Cautions about Local Pharmacies ("Chemists"). The long arm of the US Food and Drug Administration does not apply here in Australia, or any other nation. Consequently, it is possible to get over-the-counter drugs which contain controlled substances such as codeine. Read the labels -- it's very easy to grab codeine laced aspirins!
Medical care for the exchange personnel are taken care of by the appropriate Australian Defense Force. All other military members will receive medical treatment through the local Australian hospitals and doctors. Make sure your medical records remain complete! Since you will keep your medical records, emergency and even routine treatment will not be recorded in the record. That record becomes the basis for any retirement/separation medical claim you might make. Make sure you get copies of treatment records and transcripts for your official medical record prior to departing the country.
There is a USAF flight surgeon stationed in Canberra as an exchange officer with the RAAF. The flight surgeon will complete annual flight physical paperwork for USAF rated personnel assigned within Australia. Contact the 337 ASUF for further information concerning applicable procedures required to complete your annual flight physical.
There is a clinic in the Russell Offices building (their Pentagon equivalent) for exchange personnel. Family members are not allowed to use the Russell Offices clinic. There are also two contracted Chemists in Canberra that deal directly with International SOS, our TRICARE contractor. Prescription drugs can be obtained without the normal "paperwork" hassle.
RAAF Richmond Specific
The base hospital and staff is very small and most members are referred out to the local community.
RAAF Williamtown Specific
All medical and dental care is provided by the base for the military member.
Medical care is managed by International SOS (contract provider) through the TRICARE-Pacific Remote Site Program. Click on the TRICARE Prime link for procedures for accessing primary care Australia.