What should I do if I get sick?
It is very important that you have a good understanding of the Australian Healthcare System in order to access the best and most effective treatment for you.
The Health Care system is complex and it is best to ask what the costs might be, whenever you go to visit a doctor or are referred to a specialist.
General Practitioners (GP)
If you have a medical problem, do not put off seeking treatment as it could become more serious. Your first step is to make an appointment to see a doctor. In Australia doctors are also referred to as GP’s (General Practitioners).
Your campus may have its own GP (links below) or simply google “Doctor” and the suburb in which you live to find the GP closest to you. If you need to see a specialist Dr then you will still need to go and see a GP to get a referral.
If you have any difficulty obtaining medical care, contact your student adviser.
Curtin University of Technology:
Edith Cowan University:
The University of Western Australia:
If you have a minor medical ailment such as a sore throat, headache, etc which is worrying you, go into a Pharmacy or Chemist and ask to speak to the Pharmacist or Chemist to discuss your problem.
The Pharmacist/Chemist will recommend suitable products for you to buy that will assist with making you feel more comfortable. If the pharmacist thinks you need to see a doctor, he or she will tell you.
Every public hospital has a 24-hour, 7 days a week Emergency and Casualty department where you may seek help after hours and during weekends. If you attend an outpatient, emergency or casualty department you may need to wait a long time to see a doctor at a public hospital unless of course it is an emergency.
Patients with the most urgent and serious problems are seen and treated first.
Only use the Hospital Emergency Department services in an emergency situation.
People waiting in emergency are assessed and treated according to the seriousness of their medical condition. The patients with the most urgent problems are seen and treated first. If you attend the emergency department with a less serious medical condition you may be required to wait to see a doctor. Waiting times can be many hours.
Emergency hospital treatment is available anytime at the following Public Hospitals.
(*Please note that private hospitals do not have emergency departments and will not treat you if you turn up there.)
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Hospital Avenue, NEDLANDS 6009
Tel: 9346 3333
Royal Perth Hospital
Wellington Street PERTH 6000
Tel: 9224 2244
Fiona Stanley Hospital
11 Robin Warren Drive, MURDOCH 6150
Alma Street, FREMANTLE 6160
Tel: 9431 3333
Joondalup Health Campus
Shenton Ave, JOONDALUP
Tel: 9400 9400
Armadale/Kelmscott Memorial Hospital
3056 Albany Highway, ARMADALE
Tel: 9391 2000
For Children only: Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
Roberts Road, SUBIACO 6008
Tel: 9340 8222
For Pregnant Women only: King Edward Memorial Hospital
374 Bagot Road, SUBIACO 6008
Tel: 9340 2222
If you are in an accident or require urgent and immediate medical attention, an ambulance may be called by dialing 000. This is sometimes done by a person who may not even know you, but thinks you require urgent medical help and need to get to hospital quickly and safely, without further injury to yourself.
St John Ambulance carries out this community service in Western Australia, and is a not for profit organisation that provides ambulance services to the public on a “user pays” basis. “User pays” means you pay for using the service even if the call was made by someone else on your behalf. Even if you are not transported in the ambulance, you may still be required to cover the costs of the ambulance attending to you. Some examples where an ambulance has been called are car accidents, epileptic seizures in shopping centres, diabetic coma, and suspected heart attack.
As with other types of medical services, it is important to check with your health insurance provider to find out if ambulance transport costs are covered. Without insurance, ambulance transport can be very costly, at several hundreds of dollars.
CISWA recommends that students have a thorough check of their teeth before departing to come to Australia. If you have ongoing dental requirements, please try and obtain a letter from your dentist from home. This may be helpful for you when you see a dentist in Australia. You will also need to check with the company that you have health insurance with, to find out how much money or ‘gap’ is payable to a dentist by yourself.
Private dental treatment is very expensive in Australia and you should obtain a quotation in advance for dental work. Talk to your health cover provider as some assistance may be available here for emergency work.
Psychiatric & Drug-Related Emergencies
Treatment in the case of such emergencies can be obtained at the emergency departments in the public general hospitals Royal Perth Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Fremantle Hospital.
Mental Health Emergency Response Phone Line– 1300 555 788
WA Alcohol & Drug Information Service (ADIS)– (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024
ADIS is a 24 hour, confidential telephone service for people in Western Australia. It provides information, counseling, referral and advice to anyone concerned about their own or another’s alcohol or other drug use.
Counselling support is available to individuals and couples who are experiencing problems in their family relationships. Many on campus counseling services can assist. Or alternatively contact:
Relationships Australia (WA)
Sexual Health, Birth Control and Family Planning
Four videos covering the Importance of Safe Sex, Sex and the Law, Discussing Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Health Service Costs.
Marie Stopes International Centre
They provide a doctor with whom you can discuss in private any queries or concerns you may have about sexual health, pregnancy and birth control.
www.mariestopes.com.au Tel: 1800 003 707 (24 hour enquiry line)
Note that oral contraceptives are available only on a doctor’s prescription. Student Guilds often provide useful information on sexual health issues. For students who are planning for the birth of a child, the hospital costs of having a baby may be covered by your overseas student health insurance. Check with your provider for details of your pregnancy cover.
Sexually Transmissible Diseases (STDs)
Anyone who thinks they may have been at risk of contracting a sexually transmittable disease (STD) should consult a doctor or their campus health service. All consultations are treated with strictest confidentiality. A range of brochures containing information and advice in relation to HIV/AIDS is available FREE from the WA AIDS Council.
Women’s Health Care
Advice on the specific health problems of women can be obtained from:
Women’s Health & Family Services
www.whfs.org.au Tel: (08) 6330 5400
The Sexual Assault Resource Centre is located at King Edward Memorial Hospital.
Freecall: 1800 199 888 (24 hour helpline)
Counselling for Gambling
Some students get themselves into financial problems due to gambling or lending money (NEVER lend money, talk to your student adviser if someone is putting pressure on you to lend them money). It is very important to budget carefully and to keep within your weekly budget.
Some students, who get large lump sums from their parents, are so excited by having several thousand dollars in their bank accounts that they waste their money or gamble, and their money does not last. Do be careful with your money. You can talk to the bank staff about putting some of your money into a ‘fixed deposit’ account, this just means you don’t have immediate access to it, instead you have to see the bank with regard to when your money is available for you to access (and the best part here is that it is getting interest for your benefit).
Centrecare can provide information and counseling for all difficulties related to excessive gambling.
Gambling Helpline: 1800 622 112
Depression and Anxiety
Sometimes people experience very low moods for an extended period of time, to the point where they find it difficult to function every day and participate in normal activities. If you have ongoing feelings of depression or anxiety, you can make an appointment to see a counsellor on campus. Alternatively, Beyond Blue is an organization with many resources to assist people suffering from depression and/or anxiety.
Suicide Prevention Services:
The Samaritans Crisis Line www.thesamaritans.org.au Tel: 9381 5555
Youth Line Tel: 9388 2500 or FREECALL 1800 198 313
Crisis Care: 24 hour emergency service for people in crisis, including domestic violence, child abuse and suicide counselling
Tel: 9223 1111 or 1800 199 008
Men’s Domestic Violence:
Tel: 9223 1199 or 1800 000 599 (24 hour Help Line)
Women’s Domestic Violence:
Tel: 9223 1188 or 1800 007 339 (24 hour Help Line)
Women’s Council for Domestic & Family Violence Services: Tel:9420 7264
Family Help Line: 24 hour confidential service Tel: 9233 1100 or 1800 643 000
Lifeline WA: Tel: 13 11 14 (24 hour crisis Help Line)
Also non-crisis individuals, couples and families counselling www.lifelinewa.org.au
Confidential advice, counselling and information on any of the above can also be obtained from your university or College campus counseling service, see your Student Advisor for help.