Seeing a doctor (GP)
Every city and town in Australia has local general practitioners (GPs). A GP is a doctor who has a broad knowledge of health issues. They should be the first person you see for non-emergency health care, including physical and mental health issues.
Search for a doctor in your area and find out what questions to ask.
When to see a doctor (GP)
- Treatment for common illnesses: This includes issues such as influenza, rashes, infections, or minor injuries. They can also help you manage existing conditions such as asthma.
- Vaccinations: A GP can advise you on the necessary vaccinations for your age and circumstances.
- Mental Health: If you are feeling depressed or anxious, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP about your options for support. Find out about a mental health plan and if you may be eligible for one.
- Sexual Health: A GP can run tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prescribe medication if necessary. They can also talk to you about birth control options.
- Screening and preventive care: GPs can check you for skin and prostate cancer conditions and arrange further tests and scans if necessary.
- Referrals to specialists: If your condition needs specialist care, your GP will refer you to a doctor who specialises in that area of medicine.
Booking an appointment
When booking an appointment with a GP:
- Search online for a GP clinic or medical centre near your location and book online or by phone.
- Let the clinic know that you have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)..
- Request a male or female doctor if you have a preference.
- Tell the clinic if you need a longer appointment (standard appointments are 15 minutes long).
You can also book a telehealth (phone) appointment when you don’t need a physical examination. This is the best option when you are contagious.
Using your OSHC
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is health insurance for international students in Australia. Some tips for using your OSHC include:
- Before making any medical appointments, it's important to find out what health services your OSHC policy covers and whether there are any waiting periods.
- Make sure you take your OSHC card with you to your medical appointments.
- If you have questions or need help with your OSHC, phone your insurance provider's helpline or visit their website for more information.
Costs and payments
The cost of seeing a GP can vary depending on the following:
- Bulk billing means they directly charge your OSHC provider, so you may not have to pay anything. However, not all doctors offer bulk billing services, so it’s best to search online for one that does.
- Gap payments: If your OSHC payment is less than your doctor’s fee, you may need to pay the difference.
- Medications and additional services: Prescription medications and additional medical services, such as pathology tests or specialist referrals, may have separate costs. Depending on your policy, your OSHC may cover some of these costs.
Tips to improve your wellbeing
Stressors can impact how you feel and how well you can cope with daily life. These can include adjusting to a new country, managing your studies and relationship issues.
Visit these blog posts for more tips on improving your mental wellbeing:
Further support options
There are many resources and services available to support you. This includes information in several different languages. You can:
- Talk to a counsellor at your place of study.
- Talk to your GP.
- Access online self-help tools and resources.
- Join a peer support group or workshop to share your experiences and learn from others.
- Contact one of the relevant helplines below for urgent support: