Australia has a world-renowned healthcare system. We have a wide range of healthcare professionals and healthcare services available.
|Primary health care||Primary health professionals such as general practitioners (GPs), dentists, pharmacists and allied services are available for non-emergency and preventative care during business hours.|
|Hospitals||More than 200 public and private hospitals are located across Melbourne and regional Victoria for in-patient hospital care and follow-up outpatient services.
|Pregnancy and birthing services
||Pregnancy and birthing services include care during pregnancy (antenatal care). Labour and birth are usually overseen by GPs, midwives and obstetricians – or a combination of these.
||Emergency, crisis and support services are available at all times and in all locations. Call 000 in an emergency for fire, ambulance and police services.
|Aged care providers
||A wide range of aged care providers offer services such as home support and respite care services (which can help you to stay at home longer), and residential aged care.
||A range of mental health care professionals and associated services are available throughout Victoria.
|Family support services
||Family support services are available, from maternal and child health services to early parenting centres, family intervention centres and community-based organisations.|
|Counselling||Counsellors and health professionals are accessible and offer alcohol, drug and gambling-related services.|
The telephone number for emergency services throughout Australia is 000. Dial this number for ambulances, fire brigades and police emergencies. Any mobile or Australian SIM card produced after 2003 will connect you to an operator, even if you’re out of credit or out of range of your normal service provider.
Australia's ambulance service is not free. See Healthcare costs and health insurance for more information.
Medicare is Australia's healthcare system. Through Medicare, eligible Australian residents receive free treatment as a patient in a public hospital as well as reduced costs for out-of-hospital care.
See Healthcare costs and health insurance for more information.
The Maternal and Child Health Service is a free service available to families with children (from newborn to five years). The service provides information, support and guidance regarding child health, nutrition, breast feeding, maternal and family health and parenting.
The Victorian Government also provides the Maternal and Child Health Line, a 24-hour telephone service where qualified nurses provide advice and referrals for the cost of a local phone call. Telephone 13 22 29.
As part of the healthcare system, the Commonwealth Government funds vaccinations and immunisations to protect children and adolescents against a number of diseases.
If your child has started an immunisation program in another country, provide your local GP with this information. Immunisations can be received either through your GP or for free through local community councils.
For more information about immunisation for children, see the Better Health Channel website.
Immunisation and schools
Children should be immunised before starting school. Vaccination and immunisation is not compulsory, but some schools will not enrol your child unless you can prove that they have been vaccinated and immunised, or are exempt.
From 1 January 2016, to enrol your child at an early childhood service in Victoria you will need to provide evidence that your child is fully immunised for their age or on a vaccination catch-up program. The only exemption is if your child is unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons.
As a newly arrived migrant in Victoria, you may need to also consider boosting your own immunisation. For more information about how to update or boost your own immunisation, see the Better Health Channel website.
The Department of Health has more information about vaccinations and immunisation.