Health Check

Where to get health support in Australia

An Overseas Health Cover member’s guide to key health services and when to use them.

Written by Tim McGuire
Young woman working at home

When you’re studying or working in another country, it can be hard to know where to go for help for your health and wellbeing. Here, we’ve put together a guide to the resources and services that can help you get the support you need when you need it.

General practitioners (GPs)

General practitioners (or GPs, or family doctors) should be your first port of call for all non-emergency care. GPs are doctors who can provide you with care for general health issues, illness and injuries. For example, you might see a GP about:

  • prescriptions for medications
  • medical certificates
  • referrals for health screenings such as x-rays and blood tests
  • referrals to specialist doctors, including mental health specialists
  • a mental health treatment plan
  • common sicknesses
  • minor wounds
  • vaccines.

Appointments with GPs are typically made by contacting their clinic reception. Use our Find a Provider tool to locate a clinic near you who will send your bill directly to Medibank, so you don’t have to worry about paying upfront. You can also search for a GP via the government’s Find a Health Service tool, noting that this service includes providers outside of Medibank’s network.

Online Doctor

OSHC policy holders can have a telehealth consultation with a GP by using the Online Doctor function of the Medibank or ahm OSHC app. Online consultations are available 24/7 for when you need to speak to a GP late at night or if you’re isolating at home. Whether it’s for general health advice, access to prescriptions, a referral, obtaining medical certificates or arranging local pharmacy pick-ups, your doctor is now a thumb tap away.  

Consultations conducted via the Online Doctor will be directly billed to Medibank. Out-of-pocket expenses for video, audio or text consultations start from $10.*

Medibank & ahm 24/7 Student Health and Support Line

Our 24/7 Student Health and Support Line is available to all Medibank and ahm members at no extra cost. This support line will give you access to:

  • mental health and wellbeing counselling
  • medical assistance from a registered nurse
  • emergency legal advice
  • travel document assistance
  • health system guidance
  • family and friends messaging service
  • living in Australia support
  • interpreter services.

Medibank OSHC members should call 1800 887 283.

ahm OSHC members should call 1800 006 745.

Please note, in an emergency where urgent and immediate medical attention is required, call 000 instead.

Medibank and ahm OSHC apps

The Medibank and ahm OSHC apps can link OSHC policy holders to health services and support for your Medibank or ahm OSHC policy. Use the apps to update your personal details, extend your cover, and access the 24/7 Student Health and Support Line for Medibank and ahm. You can also use the app as a digital membership card when you present it alongside your photo identification.

Via the app, you can have an online consultation with a GP, or use the Find a Provider tool to find a local OSHC Direct Billing doctor who will send your bill directly to us, reducing potential upfront costs and helping you save time by not having to make a claim via the app.#

You can claim for most medical services via the app, as well as view your claiming history. You can also make a claim:

  • via our Online Member Services for Medibank and ahm OSHC policy holders
  • by visiting a store (Medibank OSHC members only)—just make sure you bring your receipts with you
  • by submitting a claim form in the mail.

Download the Medibank OSHC app from Google Play or the App Store.

Download the ahm OSHC app from Google Play or the App Store.

Read more about how to make a claim.

Medibank OSHC guides and articles

Did you know we have more guides and articles to help you manage your health and use your cover? You can read up on topics like understanding the Australian healthcare system and how to manage stress while you’re studying.

Additional services and support

Campus health services

Your university or college may have its own health services on campus, which can provide you with health support and help you navigate the healthcare system. Check with your university or college to see which services are available and whether direct billing is possible.

Pharmacies

Many shopping centres and main shopping streets will have a pharmacy (or chemist), where you can purchase medications and ask questions about how to take them safely. Some medications will require a prescription from a GP in order to purchase them.

Pharmacists can also provide you with:

  • advice to treat minor issues, such as pain or the common cold
  • certain health checks and assessments, like blood pressure tests
  • some vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine.

Allied health services

Allied health professionals can work with you to identify, assess and support everyday health issues, such as for nutrition and diet (dietitians) or muscle pains and injuries (physiotherapists). These services aren’t usually covered by your OSHC, so it may be worth considering purchasing Medibank extras cover to help with the cost.

Mental health and wellbeing support

Your GP can be your first port of call for mental health support too, including for mental health treatment plans and referrals to specialists, such as a psychologist.

If you have a Medibank or ahm Overseas Health Cover, you may be able to get some money back for some mental health services. Find out how your health cover can help.

Medibank and ahm OSHC members can also call our 24/7 Student Health and Support Line (see above) to access counselling services over the phone at no extra cost.

There are many more mental health services in Australia which can be accessed for low or even no cost. Lifeline and Beyond Blue are two national organisations both providing free 24/7 phone counselling and crisis support, as well as online chat support and digital resources to help you manage mental health issues like stress, loneliness and depression.

As always, if your situation is an emergency, you should dial 000.

Still have questions?

For support with your cover or questions about where to seek help, call us on 134 148.

Read more about the Australian healthcare system, including where to get help.


*
Please note that document handling fees apply for the issue of medical documents, such as medical certificates. Additional fees apply for text only consults. Refer to the terms and conditions within the OSHC app for more details. Online Doctor is offered on a trial basis and may be discontinued at any time. Waiting times may vary depending on doctor availability. For privacy reasons, Partners and Dependants on a policy may not access Online Doctor through the OSHC app.

#Direct billing health practitioners (e.g. general practitioners, pathology and radiology providers) are providers that have an arrangement with Medibank and ahm to send the bill directly to us. Out-of-pocket expenses may apply depending on whether your doctor charges more than the amount payable under Medibank or ahm OSHC

24/7 Student Health and Support Line

Need support? Medibank Overseas Student Health Cover members can call 1800 887 283 anytime for health advice from a registered nurse, counselling services, emergency legal advice, travel document assistance, interpreter service and more.

Written by Tim McGuire

Tim McGuire has written for The Big Issue, The Australian, The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings, and others. He’s written about HIV and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and lots of things in between. He lives in Melbourne.

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