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.
Emergency medical treatment is available 24 hours a day at the emergency or casualty department of a public hospital, or at some medical centers. 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.
As an international student in Australia, you are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your study in Australia. But there are also other types of insurance which you may find useful.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
International students undertaking formal studies in Australia, and their dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old), must obtain OSHC. It includes cover for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals (medicines).
OSHC insurers can provide a range of different OSHC products. These may range from a basic product which covers only the compulsory minimum services to comprehensive products which cover, in addition to the compulsory minimum services, extra services as specified under the particular policy. You can find more information, including a list of the providers and average costs, on the Department of Health www.health.gov.au website.
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.
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.
Australia has a very reliable travel industry, but cancelled flights, lost luggage or other un-planned issues can arise.
If you are travelling with valuables or are on a travel schedule you have to meet, travel insurance can help cover any mishaps or missed flights.
You can arrange travel insurance through a range of providers including travel insurance companies, airlines and travel booking companies.
Home and Contents Insurance
Home and contents insurance covers the building you live in and your belongings, such as furniture, clothes and appliances.
If you rent a property, building insurance is the responsibility of the owner and you do not need to worry about it but contents insurance is worth considering if you have valuable items you couldn’t afford to replace very easily if something happened to them.
If you purchase a car, motorbike or other vehicle you will need to consider what type of insurance you will need to purchase. Depending on what state or territory of Australia you live in there may be compulsory insurance you need to purchase.
For example, in NSW you must purchase Compulsory Third Party insurance which covers you for personal injuries caused to someone else in an accident.
You should check with the relevant government agency in your state or territory to find out what, if any, compulsory insurance you might need.