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Australian Immigration News
International Students in Australia Entitled to Local Benefits
Friday, August 17, 2012
The decision by the Queensland Government to allow international students with Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to access treatment at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital has been welcomed by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans.
"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.
Senator Evans strongly encouraged all state and territory governments to adopt a similar approach to allow crucial services to be available to international students who have served the appropriate waiting periods specified in their insurance policies.
In addition, Senator Evans called for wider reforms that would give foreign students in Australia 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.
He indicated that Australian education for international students makes an enormous contribution to the economy, generating around $15.7 billion annually and supporting around 125,000 jobs in Australia.
"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," Senator Evans said.
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