Last reply 9 months ago
Australia Visa and medication


I have booked to go to Australia with my boyfriend for at least a year and am thinking of applying for the working travel visa. I am 23 and am working full time as an OT with relapsing remittent MS but despite two sensory relapses this year it is not impacting my ability to work.

I am on Tecfidera however this doesn’t seem to be working (hence the two relapses) and so they would like to put me on Gilenya. I just wondered if anyone had any advice/experience of going to Australia on a temporary working travel visa for a year or who I can ask for some advice.

I have been really looking forward to this trip after a crap few years with difficulty with diagnosis but now am really disappointed and stressed as my MS nurse feels this may not be possible for me to do because of medication costs and getting a visa granted with MS.

I have looked at going through systems to check I are eligible but I am worried this will put a black stamp next to my name prior to me applying.

Also wondered if anyone knew about the cost of each treatment? and whether I be covered by medicare on a temporary working travel visa.

Many thanks!


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9 months ago

Hi @megdunks and welcome.

Who wouldn’t fancy that trip to Australia? Then MS gatecrashes the party, causing all manner of obstacles!

You could try calling the MS Society Helpline (0808 800 8000) and see if they can advise. You won’t be the first one to ask these questions.

You could also take the bull by the horns and call up the Australian High Commission (

You may also want to reconsider your choice of Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT). There are induction therapies, e.g. Lemtrada, that involve infusions a year apart.

Hope this helps

9 months ago

Hello @megdunks, good for you for making a great plan. It’s great that you’re cautious, but find a way to keep that dream alive! I think the cost of Tecfidera to the NHS is around 20k per as an example. Can you download a visa application to see if it specifically asks about health conditions? As you know, here, we are not obliged to disclose that we have MS regarding the workplace. When are you going? By the way, in terms of managing MS, at least Oz is a very advanced and forward-thinking country if you required any health help whilst there……

9 months ago

Hi @megdunks,
I wouldn’t disclose that you have MS. If you have a relapse while here, go to emergency and they will give you steroids and consultation for free.
My advice would be to get your neuro to write your script of Gilenya and get all of your repeats filled before you leave. That way you wont need to use a pharmacist here during your stay.
Gilenya is available here and it only costs $30 after gov subsidization. It is about $2500 a month without the Govt help.
Hope you enjoy the greatest bloody nation on earth mate…. just don’t bother remembering the Prime Ministers name as it will probably change within a week.

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