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Victoria has a wide range of healthcare professionals and services available:
Your local GP will recommend a specialist to suit your medical needs. You will need a referral letter from your GP to make an appointment with the specialist.
To find other health professionals including optometrists, chiropractors, naturopaths and osteopaths, visit the Better Health Channel website.
For natural health and alternative medicine practitioners, visit NaturalTherapyPages.com.au.
For the list and contact details of Victoria's hospitals, visit the Victorian Government Health Information website. Victoria public and private hospitals also have emergency wards where you can receive after-hours medical care.
Private health insurance is recommended for treatments in private hospitals to avoid paying the full costs. See Healthcare Costs and Insurance.
The telephone number for emergency services throughout Australia is 000. Dial this number for ambulance, fire brigade and police emergencies.
It is important to note that Australia's ambulance service is not free. See Healthcare costs and insurance.
Call Nurse-On-Call when you need advice about someone who is ill or you need information about health services in your area.
The service provides access to interpreting services for callers not confident with English and can assist callers who are hearing or speech impaired through the National Relay Service.
For more information visit Nurse-On-Call.
The Maternal and Child Health Service is a free national service available to families with children from newborn to five years.
Services include immunisation, feeding, motor development, eyesight and hearing tests. Contact your local Government council to find the Maternal and Child Health Centre in your area.
The Victorian Government also operates the Maternal and Child Health line, a 24-hour telephone service in conjunction with the Maternal and Child Health Service. Qualified maternal and child health nurses provide advice and referrals for the cost of a local phone call. Telephone 13 22 29.
Protect your child and yourself against some diseases which can cause serious illnesses and sometimes death with immunisation. If your child is protected, he or she will not be able to pass the infection on to other people, especially very young babies who are not yet fully immunised.
As part of the healthcare system, the Australian Government funds vaccinations and immunisations to protect children and adolescents against diseases including:
If your child has started an immunisation program in another country, provide your local GP with this information. Immunisation can be received either through your GP or for free through local community councils.
Children should be immunised before starting school. Vaccination and immunisation is not compulsory, but some child care providers and schools will not enrol your child unless you can prove that they are vaccinated and immunised, or are exempt.
For more information on immunisation in Australia, visit the Immunise Australia Program website.
Through Medicare, eligible Australian residents receive free treatment as a patient in a public hospital as well as reduced costs for out-of-hospital care. See Healthcare Costs and Insurance for more information.