Health and wellbeing
It's important for you to look after your health and wellbeing while you're studying overseas. Australia has a first-class healthcare system complete with state-of-the-art hospitals, medical centres, and extensive mental health services.
Overseas Student Health Cover
Australia has a system of health care cover for international students called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). International students studying in Australia must have health and medical insurance for the length of their student visa from an approved OSHC provider. TAFE Queensland can organise your OSHC with our preferred provider Allianz Care Australia, or you can choose to purchase your OSHC through any approved provider. TAFE Queensland will receive an administration fee from Allianz Care Australia for arranging your OSHC.
This insurance covers you for general medical treatment in Australia. A number of services, including dental, physiotherapy, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic and private hospital services require you to purchase extra cover from your OSHC provider.
What to do in an emergency
In the event of an emergency, dial 000 from a landline or mobile phone for ambulance, fire brigade, and police services. The costs of ambulance services will be covered by your OSHC and there are no costs associated with calling the police or fire brigade.
Emergency medical treatment is also available 24 hours a day at both public and private hospital emergency departments as well as some medical centres. If you need to visit the hospital remember to bring your health insurance card and any medicines you are currently taking.
Medical services in Australia
If you're sick and it's not an emergency you can visit a doctor, also known as a GP (general practitioner), at a doctor's surgery or medical centre. You can search for doctors in your area on the Allianz Care Australia website. You can also arrange for a doctor to visit you at your home through the National Home Doctor Service.
You will need to show your OSHC membership card when you pay for your medical visit. Keep the receipt if you plan on making a claim with your health insurance provider. If the doctor gives you a prescription for medicine, please be aware that not all medicines are covered by insurance, so check with your provider to see which medicines are covered.
If you've missed class due to your illness make sure you get a medical certificate from your doctor. You will need this to prove why you missed class, especially if you're an English language student, or if you've missed an exam or assessment deadline due to illness.
Queensland has a confidential phone service where you can talk to a registered nurse 24 hours a day. Simply call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to talk to a registered nurse who can evaluate your symptoms and recommend if you should seek further medical advice. This service provides qualified health advice however it should not replace a face-to-face medical consultation. In an emergency situation you should always dial 000.
Mental health services
Living in a new culture can be both an exciting and challenging experience. If you feel lonely or stressed there is plenty of support available for you. You can speak to a doctor who can refer you to mental healthcare professionals in your area who can provide support and assistance. You can also contact the Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre for information on mental health services for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Lifeline is a free 24-hour service offering mental health support and advice from trained volunteer telephone counsellors. You can call Lifeline anytime on 13 11 14. Lifeline staff are trained to offer emotional support and can provide information about other support services that are available to you in your area.