Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is insurance to assist international students to meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may require while in Australia. The Department of Home Affairs requires international students to maintain OSHC for the duration of their time studying in Australia.
The ACT Government Education Directorate will assist students to arrange OSHC or students may arrange to purchase their own OSHC.
OSHC provides international students with cover for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, limited pharmaceuticals (medicines) and ambulance services. OSHC does not include 'extras' such as physiotherapy, dental and optical. Generally, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered. The health insurer can add dental or optical cover at an additional cost.
When the Education Directorate arranges OSHC for international students, they are also provided access to a 24 hour Emergency Helpline for medical, legal and interpreting services in emergency situations.
- The Helpline number is: 1800 682 175
If international students need to see a doctor, an appointment will need to be made with a general practitioner (GP). GPs are located at medical centre’s throughout Canberra. A GP will assist with health check-ups, general health concerns, medicine prescriptions and vaccinations. GP's will also give international students a referral to see a specialist if there is a particular health concern.
If a dental check-up is required, international students can make an appointment to see a dentist at any private dental clinic in Canberra. Please note that OSHC may not cover dental treatment. As dental services in Australia are expensive, all international students should consider having a dental check and any necessary treatment before they leave home.
To visit a doctor or a dentist, international students will need to call and make an appointment first. International students are required to pay for their consultation straight after the appointment and will then need to lodge a claim with their OSHC provider.