Life in Australia / Medical services

Medical services

Medical services in Australia

What to do in an emergency

In the event of an emergency, call 000 for ambulance, fire brigade and police services.

For translation services in an emergency situation call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 1300 655 010.

Emergency medical treatment is also available 24 hours a day at both public and private hospital emergency departments. Emergency care is also available at some medical centres. If you need to visit the hospital remember to bring your health insurance card and any medicines you are currently taking.

Visiting the doctor

If you're sick and it's not an emergency, you can go to a doctor or GP ("general practitioner") or visit a medical centre. To find doctors in your area, search under the "Find a Doctor" tab on the Allianz Global Assistance website.

If you need an interpreter during your medical visit, your doctor may be able to provide one on the telephone by calling the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450.

The doctor may give you a prescription for medicine. Keep in mind that not all medicines are covered by your insurance provider, so it's a good idea to ask the health insurer which medicines are covered.

Make sure you get a medical certificate from your doctor if you've missed class due to your illness. You will need to show your membership card when you pay for your medical visit. Keep the receipt if you plan on making a claim with your health insurance provider.

Note: In Australia, you cannot visit a medical specialist without seeing a GP first. Your GP will write you a referral if they think you need to see a specialist.


Queensland has a confidential phone service where you can phone and talk to a registered nurse 24 hours a day. 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) provides qualified health advice however it should not replace medical consultation. In an emergency situation you should always dial 000.

Poisons information line 

The poisons information line provides prompt, up-to-date information and advice in the event of poisonings or suspected poisonings. You can contact the Poisons Information Centre on 131 126.

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