LOGIN or JOIN
information for global expats



Health Emergencies for Expats in Australia

Submitted: July 2013

Emergency numbers

The official Australian emergency number is 000 (known as triple zero). Calls to 000 are free.

You may also call the State Emergency Service by dialling 132500. This number should only be used for non-life-threatening situations, and it is not available in the Northern Territory.

Do not let money matters jeopardise your or somebody else’s life.  If you have any doubt, do not keep it to yourself, call 000. If, for example, you believe you really need urgent treatment but you are unclear whether you can get it free (e.g. because you are not covered by Medicare), dial 000 immediately and express your concerns. The 000 emergency operators should let you know the best possible course of action.

You may also call Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222 at any time for free health advice.

State Emergency Policies

Emergency services (SES) are run by state or territory governments. They are not covered by Medicare, but your state government may subsidise them. If you wish to find out more about SES arrangements in your local area, you can do so by clicking here.

If you need urgent care, you need to go to the emergency department of a public hospital. To check the waiting times statistics for a specific hospital, click here. If appropriate, you might visit an after-hours GP clinic if your GP is not available.

If you are entitled to Medicare, public hospital services should be free. See Doctors and Hospitals for Expats in Australia Otherwise, emergency treatment is not necessarily free of charge and fees can be high, but local governments or hospitals may decide to make them free on a case-by-case basis, especially if you cannot afford the fees.

Australian emergency services endeavour to respond within 10 minutes for the most life-threatening emergencies.

Health emergency system in Australia

An expat should understand that health emergencies are not a universal public service in Australia, and they are not automatically free for foreign individuals not entitled to Medicare. In addition, ambulances are not covered by Medicare, even for Australian citizens, although state governments may meet ambulance fees. See National Health Service for Expats in Australia. This might appear as a major cultural difference for expats from countries where free emergency treatment is provided with no questions asked.

Careful planning is therefore advisable, and expats should plan for health emergencies before moving to Australia. A relevant international cover or an ambulance cover might be helpful. See Health Insurance for Expats in Australia

 

Contribute

We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.

 

Moving to Australia

If you are considering moving to Australia or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Australian section including; details of immigration and visas, Australian forums, Australian event listings and service providers in Australia.

picture1 Read More

Living in Australia

From your safety to shoppingliving in Australia can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Australia with relevant news and up-to-date information.

picture1 Read More

Working in Australia

Working in Australia can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Australia, and general Australian culture of the labour market.

picture1 Read More


 
 
 
 

Information

About | Useful Links | Global Media Partners | Media | Advertising And Sales | Banners And Widgets | Glossary | RSS | Privacy & Cookies | Terms And Conditions | Editorial Policy | Refer To A Friend | Newsletters | Contact | Site Map

Important Notice: Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments. © Wolters Kluwer TAA Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

The Expat Briefing brand is owned and operated by Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.