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Victoria's Healthcare System

Victoria's healthcare services

Victoria has a wide range of healthcare professionals and services available:

  • local General Practitioners (GPs), for non-emergency and preventative care during business hours
  • specialist doctors
  • 24-hour telephone service Nurse-On-Call (1300 60 60 24) for immediate, expert health advice from a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the cost of a local phone call
  • private and public hospitals, for in-patient hospital care and follow-up outpatient services.

Finding a doctor, specialist or hospital


To locate a General Practitioner (GP) in your local area, check the Yellow Pages under Medical Practitioners, or go to the Better Health Channel website

Specialist doctors

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.

Dentists and other health professionals

To find a dentist, check the Yellow Pages under Dentists, or visit the Australian Dental Association (ADA) website

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


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

Ambulance and emergencies

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

Mother and baby support

The Maternal and Child Health Service is a free national service available to families with children from newborn to five years. The service provides information, support and guidance regarding child health, nutrition, breast feeding, maternal and family health and parenting.

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.

Vaccinations and immunisation for children

As part of the healthcare system, the Australian Government funds vaccinations and immunisations to protect children and adolescents against a number of diseases.

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.

Immunisation and schools

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.