Last updated: 22 January 2022

Australia’s health care system provides a wide range of services including general practice, community health, emergency services and allied health services.


If you suffer emergency injuries or acute illnesses, you might need to go to a hospital. Emergency services are available to everyone in Australia at the accident and emergency unit of any public hospital, 24 hours a day. Learn more about South Australia’s public hospitals and health services.

Seeing a Doctor

If you need to see doctor (also known as a GP), you can find a list here. You should register with a local doctor when you arrive, so you have somewhere to go if you are sick.

A consultation with a doctor usually costs around AU$50 or more, depending on your doctor and your OSHC benefits. Some doctors might ask you to pay in full and claim your insurance benefit back later. Ask about payment when you make your appointment, and always keep your receipts.

On-campus Doctors

There are medical practices available on-campus at:


heathdirect is a free 24-hour health advice line. If you have a health concern, but you’re not sure what to do next, call healthdirect to speak to a registered nurse. You’ll get health advice and directions to your nearest health services.

For free health advice, call: 1800 022 222


You can buy medicines and drugs from a pharmacy, also known as a chemist. You can buy some medications over the counter; others need a prescription from a doctor.

Watch this useful video to understand how to buy your medications in Adelaide.

Dentists, Optometrists and Physiotherapists

You can search for local providers in the Yellow Pages. Costs for these services can vary, and some treatments can be expensive. Be sure to compare quotes before booking your appointment.

Common Health Concerns

Sunburn: Australia’s sun can be harsh, so it’s essential to use sunscreen, wear a hat and cover up with clothing that covers your arms, legs, back and neck, particularly in the middle of the day.

Dry skin: South Australia’s dry climate can lead to dry skin. Protect yourself by using moisturisers and lip balm, and by drinking water to stay hydrated.

Colds and flu (influenza): These are relatively common in Australia and usually occur during seasonal changes. If you have symptoms of a sore throat, runny nose, headaches or fever, you should see your doctor. For a Flu vaccine, speak to your doctor or local council.

Migrant Health Service

The Migrant Health Service is a multilingual access centre where you can get health care and referral services. They offer health assessment, counselling, health education and language services.

Call: 1800 635 566

Mental Health Services

If you’re feeling depressed, anxious or suicidal, help is available to you 24-hours a day. Watch this helpful video to understand how to ask for help.

Lifeline, 24-hour counselling service
Call: 13 11 14

Youth Beyond Blue, 24-hour counselling service
Call: 1300 224 636

ReachOut, online mental health resources

Headspace, online and face to face services 

Sexual Health Services

SA Health has put together a fact sheet to help give you a better understanding about sexual health topics, and the healthcare system in SA. View the fact sheet here.

This video can help you take care of your sexual health.

If you have a sexual health question, you can talk confidentially to a nurse by calling the FREE Shine SA Sexual Healthline. 

Shine SA
Call: 1300 883 793

Addiction Services

If you’re struggling with drug, alcohol or gambling addictions, there are services to help you.

Drug and Alcohol Services SA
Call: 1300 131 340

Gambling Helpline
Call: 1800 858 858

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