How much does chemo cost in Australia?

It is good to know that chemotherapy is also being offered in hospitals in Australia. Now, the question is ‘How much does chemo cost in Australia?’

It’s obviously upsetting and distressing to learn that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer.

Money may not be your primary concern during this tough time. Knowing the expenses of treatment choices such as chemotherapy will help you and your family be prepared for any bills that may occur.

However, in this article, we  will be treating the question, ”how much does chemo cost in Australia?”

Cancer is a prominent cause of death in Australia, with about 50,000 cancer-related deaths expected in 2019. Cancer was the second leading cause of mortality in Australia in 2014, accounting for almost three out of every ten deaths. Cancer claims the lives of around 25,000 more people per year than it did in 1982.

Also, it is good to know that chemotherapy is also being offered in hospitals in Australia. This is great for those in Australia. Now, the question is “How much does chemo cost in Australia?”

Keep reading!

What is Chemotherapy?

Before we see answers to the question, ”how much does chemo cost in Australia?”, let’s look at the meaning of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is the practice of using medications to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells.

According to Cancer Council Australia, there are many different types of medications that can be utilized.   You could be treated with a single chemotherapy agent or a mix of them.

Chemotherapy, according to Cancer Australia, can be used alone or in combination with other treatments such as surgery. It could be used to shrink a tumour before surgery or to remove any remaining cancer cells after surgery, for example. Chemotherapy is usually administered intravenously (through a vein).

Although it can also be given orally (via pills), as a cream, or as injections, according to the Cancer Council. Chemotherapy is usually administered in cycles, with breaks in between to allow healthy cells to recuperate.

How much does chemo cost in Australia?

Chemotherapy medications are costly, as the Cancer Council points out. If you are treated in a public hospital, however, you will not be charged for intravenous chemotherapy.

However, as we’ll discuss further below, you may be charged for chemotherapy administered in other ways. You may also be charged differently at different types of clinics, as well as for related tests and treatments.

It’s a good idea to check with your doctor and your health fund (if relevant) about the cost before you start treatment.  Regardless of how it’s being approached.

  • Is chemotherapy covered by the PBS?

Some chemotherapy drugs may be covered entirely or partially by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The PBS is a list of all federally subsidized pharmaceuticals that is available to all Australian residents who have a valid Medicare card.

Additionally, the PBS, according to the Cancer Council, pays for intravenous chemotherapy administered in a public hospital. Oral chemotherapy medications, on the other hand, would need a patient to contribute to the expense.

  • Costs of tests and medicine connected to the situation

You are still wondering, “how much does chemo cost in Australia?” However, costs for connected treatments and tests may also be incurred by patients.

For example, your doctor may order a molecular test to see if you may benefit from chemotherapy. These tests are often not covered by Medicare and can cost thousands of dollars, according to the Breast Cancer Network Australia.

It discovered, for example, that Oncotype DX tests cost on average $5,000.

Furthermore, you may need to take medicine such as anti-nausea drugs after getting chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can cause nausea, as well as other side effects such as loss of appetite, exhaustion, hair loss, and gastrointestinal issues.

Some anti-nausea treatments are now covered by the PBS as of October 1, 2019. Additionally, most PBS medicines currently cost up to $40.30 or $6.50 with a concession card. Please keep in mind that this amount is changed each year on January 1st to reflect the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

  • Is chemotherapy covered by private health insurance?

Depending on the policy, private health insurance may help cover a portion of the cost of chemotherapy. All Bronze, Silver, and Gold hospital policies must cover chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy for cancer or benign tumours. This is part of the 2019 private health insurance reforms.

Do you have private health insurance and choose to be treated as a private patient? You may be required to pay out-of-pocket expenses and contribute to the cost of chemotherapy drugs, according to the Cancer Council.

Chemotherapy financing options

Consider whether you are eligible for any of the following options if you are having financial difficulties paying for treatment. Keep reading to see more to the query, ”how much does chemo cost in Australia”.

Benefits from Centrelink

You or your carer may be eligible for Centrelink benefits, which include:

  • If you are employed and unable to work due to a medical condition such as cancer, and you meet the income and eligibility requirements.
  • If you have a permanent physical, mental, or psychiatric condition that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for the Disability Support Pension.
  • If you are unable to work because you provide full-time daily care for someone with a medical condition, you may be eligible for a Carer Payment.
  • If you provide extra daily care for someone with a medical condition, you may be eligible for an income supplement. If you are still able to work, this can be paid in addition to your wages.

You may be eligible for a Health Care Card if you receive a payment from Centrelink.

Additionally, this allows you to lower prescription medicines through the PBS.  Also, it may provide you access to reductions for prices like energy, electricity and healthcare, depending on your state and territory government.

For additional information and support, contact Centrelink. Keep in mind that there may be a waiting period before you can file a claim.

Early withdrawal of superannuation

Normally, you won’t be able to access your superannuation until you reach the ‘preservation age’. That is between 55 and 60 years old depending on when you were born.

However, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) notes that under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to withdraw your super early. This includes paying for medical treatment on compassionate grounds or if you have a fatal medical condition that will kill you within two years.


Check your insurance policies to see if they cover your current situation (for example, life insurance, trauma insurance, or income protection insurance).

Be advised that there may be time constraints for filing a claim.

In addition to any standalone policies, you should check to see if you have insurance through your superannuation fund. Contact your insurer or superfund if you’re not sure what you’re insured for.

Furthermore, if you’re having financial difficulties, talk to your doctor about your choices. You can also get free financial planning advice through the Cancer Council’s Pro Bono Program.

These financial planners may be able to assist you with accessing your super and insurance. Applying for and receiving Centrelink benefits, and other financial assistance.

Cancer Hospitals in Australia

Now that you’ve gotten answers to the question,’how much does chem cost in Australia?’ let’s see cancer hospitals that offer chemo in Australia.

  • The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Website: Visit here

Address: 300 Grattan St, Parkville VIC 3050, Australia

Phone:  +61 3 9342 7000


The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) is one of Australia’s main public hospitals. It’s located in Parkville, Victoria, an inner suburb of Melbourne.

Further, it is a prominent tertiary teaching hospital with a strong reputation for clinical research.

Melbourne Health, which includes the Royal Melbourne Hospital, North West Dialysis Service, and North Western Mental Health, manages the hospital. Christine Kilpatrick AO is the CEO of Melbourne Health.

  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Website: Visit here

Address: 305 Grattan St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Phone: +61 3 8559 5000


The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is also known as the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center and shortened to Peter Mac.

Additionally, it is an oncology research institute, cancer treatment facility, and professional oncologist training facility in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Furthermore, Sir Peter MacCallum is honoured with the name of the centre.  The centre has been housed at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) in Parkville since June 2016.

The centre is Australia’s first public cancer treatment, research, and education facility. The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Cancer Cell Biology Program and the ACRF Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics in Cancer are two research initiatives at the centre.

  • The Royal Women’s Hospital

Address: 20 Flemington Rd, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia

Phone:  +61 3 8345 2000


The Royal Women’s Hospital is Australia’s oldest specialist women’s hospital, located in the Melbourne suburb of Parkville.

Additionally, it provides comprehensive maternity, gynaecology, newborn care, women’s malignancies, and women’s health services. Social work, physiotherapy, dietetics, and pastoral care are among the additional services available.

Furthermore, there are also specialist clinics for endometriosis, chronic pelvic discomfort, menopausal symptoms following cancer, and infertility. It is a large teaching hospital with more than 200 beds and affiliations with the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University.

Also, the Frances Perry Private Hospital, a 69-bed private hospital for women, is also housed in the same structure.

  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Website: Visit here

Address: 1G, Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9345 2555


WEHI is Australia’s oldest medical research institute. It was originally known as the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

From 1944 through 1965, Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet, who won the Nobel Prize in 1960 for his work in immunology, served as director.

Furthermore, Burnet was the one who came up with the concepts of clonal selection and acquired immunological tolerance. Colony-stimulating factors were later discovered and characterised by Professor Donald Metcalf.

Additionally, more than 750 researchers worked at the institute in 2015. They worked at the institute to better understand, prevent, and treat diseases like blood, breast, and ovarian cancers.

Also, inflammatory diseases (autoimmunity) like rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and coeliac disease were treated.

Furthermore, infectious diseases like malaria, HIV, and hepatitis B and C, were treated.

  • The Royal Children’s Hospital

Address: 50 Flemington Rd, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9345 5522


The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne, Australia, is a major children’s hospital.

This Hospital is Victoria’s largest specialty paediatric hospital. It offers a full range of clinical services, tertiary care, and health promotion and prevention programmes for children and young people.

The hospital is a Nationally Funded Centre for cardiac and liver transplants. Also, it is a designated statewide major trauma centre for paediatrics in Victoria.

  • St Vincent’s Hospital

Website: Visit here

Address: 390 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia

Phone:  +61 2 8382 1111


St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst, Sydney, is a leading tertiary referral hospital and research facility.

St Vincent’s Health Australia also runs St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and manages the facility. It is sponsored and incorporated within the New South Wales state public health system.

Further, the University of Tasmania College of Health and Medicine and the University of New South Wales Medical School are both connected with it.

Conclusion on How much does chemo cost in Australia

The question “How much does chemo cost in Australia?” has been treated above. Also, a bonus heading of a list of cancer hospitals in Australia was added. Hope all this information helps you. Good luck!

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