5 free medical hotlines in Australia for int’l students

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Are you studying in Australia? Have you experienced times when you urgently need a second opinion, a quick diagnosis, a prescription, a listening ear, or answers to medical questions? Trust us when we say you’re not the only one. 

The good thing is that there are plenty of free medical hotlines in Australia to contact. Many of them offer quick diagnosis, mental health and even COVID-19 support. The best part? Some hotlines don’t require you to reveal your identity. 

Do note, however, that as an international or domestic student in Australia, you are entitled to free private healthcare services, thanks to your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). International students must obtain an OSHC — it is a requirement set by the government for those studying in Australia. 

Having said that, there may be moments when it’s more convenient to get an online consultation for confidentiality reasons, or to skip the long queues. Here are some free medical hotlines in Australia worth checking out: 

free medical hotlines in australia

Seeking online medical advice from licensed professionals is common practice these days. Source: Alain Jocard/AFP

Free medical hotlines in Australia: From healthcare to mental wellbeing

1. Healthdirect 

A government-funded service, Healthdirect provides free 24-hour health and COVID-19 advice. It also lists out information on the different types of medicine available, should you require a prescription from the pharmacy. 

As a government-funded service, you can be assured that you are accessing quality, approved health information and advice.

Healthdirect also has a symptom checker feature, so you can first assess your symptoms and condition before consulting them. 

Click here for the website. 

2. Lifeline

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, offering 24-hour support to all Australians and foreigners experiencing personal crises. 

According to its website, the hotline receives help requests every 30 seconds. This can range from calls, text messages and online chats. 

If you need a listening ear or are worried about someone, Lifeline has different avenues you can use to contact them. You can also join discussion forums if you prefer to reach out to individuals who are more than happy to assist you.

Click here for the website. 

free medical hotlines in australia

Many of these hotlines offer 24/7 medical and mental health support. Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

3. 13HEALTH

Available only for those in Queensland, 13Health is a 24/7 confidential phone service that provides free health advice. 

Instead of GPs, you’ll be consulting registered nurses who can provide health information and symptoms assessment. These nurses also determine your medical urgency and recommend who you should talk to. 

The site also has a separate number for mental health support which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This hotline is managed by trained and experienced professional mental health clinicians. 

Click here for the website. 

4. Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue is a 24/7 hotline that offers a range of information, strategies and expert advice on COVID-19 and mental wellbeing. 

Some of the services offered include taking proper safety measures to prevent COVID-19, how to take care of parents, friends or children with COVID-19, providing advice on recovering from long-COVID (post-COVID-19 symptoms), and dealing with grief and loss of a loved one. 

You can contact the hotline via phone call, online chat or online forums. If speaking English is not your strong suit, the hotline also has free translation support for Mandarin, Arabic, Punjabi and Vietnamese. 

Click here for the website. 

5. KidsHelpline

KidsHelpline is a free, confidential, 24/7 online and phone counselling service mainly for young people aged five to 25 years old (teachers, parents and carers can contact this hotline too). 

Here, all young people are treated with respect and allowed to choose the gender of the counsellor they wish to speak to. They can also connect with the same counsellor again. 

There are numerous support available at KidsHelpline, from mental health to physical health and identity, relationships and sex, life issues, family, friends, school and work and online safety. Users can access these services via phone call, email or online chat. 

Click here for the website. 



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