Health and Wellbeing

International Students hanging out at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane

Brisbane has some of the highest-quality health services available in Australia. Australia's health care system includes high-quality hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, dental clinics, physiotherapists and many other support services.

Overseas Student Health Cover

The Australian Government requires all international students to purchase medical insurance for the full period of your student visa. This cover must be through an approved Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) provider.

Depending on the level of cover, most OSHC insurers will cover basic medical costs and contribute towards the costs of most prescription medicines and an ambulance in cases of emergency.

OSHC does not cover secondary medical services such as dental, optical, physiotherapy, or non-essential prescription medicines. Additional private health insurance will need to be bought if these services are required.

Some health insurance providers in Brisbane include:

OSHC Australia offers a service to compare health insurance options in Brisbane.

For more information about Overseas Student Health Cover, visit the Department of Health and Ageing website.

Getting Medical Help

If you need medical help in Brisbane, make an appointment to see a doctor, also known as a general practitioner (GP), at your local medical centre. You should go to a doctor’s surgery that can send the bill directly to your OSHC insurance provider. This is called “bulk billing” and means you only have to pay the difference between what is owed to the doctor and what your insurance will cover.

GPs can provide assistance with minor illnesses, and offer general medical advice. In cases of medical emergency, you should immediately go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital, where medical staff can provide you with urgent attention.

It is important that you contact your OSHC insurer before being admitted to a private hospital. While private hospitals will still provide you with medical attention, be aware that not all their services will be covered by OSHC and you may have to pay extra for these services.

Mental Health

Some people may find adjusting to a new life in a different city stressful. If you find yourself having financial or accommodation problems, give yourself a break and don’t let your new life overwhelm you. Making friends will give you a support network, as will finding a part-time job.

Look for special interest groups you can relate to, and force yourself to give your mind a break from rigorous study.

If you still find yourself low or depressed or you are overcome by a sense of hopelessness, talk to someone. Your institution will have support services available, so ask them what help is available.

Some other useful sites include:

Health and Fitness

For those looking to maintain an active lifestyle, there are many gyms you can join in and around the city, and Brisbane has a wide range of free or low-cost activities catering to different age groups and interests.

Brisbane City Council hosts an Active Parks program which runs free activities across more than 50 local parks. Activities include boxing, tai chi, kayaking and more, so you can try out some different programs and see which you enjoy. There are also a number of different sporting facilities including skate parks, tennis courts and bike paths – so there is always something available to keep your exercise routine interesting.