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For emergencies such as fire, ambulance or police, phone 000.  When you dial 000, you will be asked whether you want fire, ambulance or police and why you want this assistance. You will also be asked for your name and address and telephone number.

Australia police protect people and properties, detect and prevent crime, and preserve peace for everyone. They are not connected to the military or politics. The police can help you feel safe.


The fire brigade extinguishes fires, rescues people from fires in cars and buildings, and helps in situations where gas or chemicals become a danger. As soon as a fire starts call 000 no matter how small or large the fire may be.


Ambulances provide immediate medical attention in an emergency and emergency transportation to hospital. To access an ambulance, call 000.

Medical assistance

Emergency medical treatment is available 24 hours a day at the emergency or casualty department of a public hospital, or at some medical centres. Public and private hospitals are listed in the White Pages telephone directory under ‘Hospitals’ and you can also find them by searching on the internet. If you need to go to hospital, remember to bring your health insurance card and any medicines you are currently taking.  For anything other than an emergency, seek medical help from a general practitioner (GP) or local medical centre.

Overseas Student Health Cover

Australia has a special system of health cover for international students called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You will need to buy OSHC before you come to Australia to cover you from when you arrive. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires you to maintain OSHC for the duration of your time on a student visa in Australia.

You can choose to take out OSHC with a provider recommended by us, or with the Australian OSHC provider of your choice. There are five providers of OSHC in Australia. Visit these websites to find detailed information on what they cover and to decide which provider is right for you.

Your OSHC will help you pay for any medical or hospital care you may need while you’re studying in Australia, and it will contribute towards the cost of most prescription medicines, and an ambulance in an emergency.

For more information on what your OSHC insurance covers, as well as what to do if you need treatment, refer to the Department of Health and Ageing’s (DoHA) Frequently Asked Questions.

OSHC does not cover dental, optical or physiotherapy. If you want to be covered for these treatments you will need to buy additional private health insurance, such as:

  • Extra OSHC provided by some OSHC providers;
  • International travel insurance; or
  • General treatment cover with any Australian private health insurer. You can find a list of these providers and search for the one that suits you best at www.privatehealth.gov.au or www.iselect.com.au