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12 free health care services and programs

Tuesday 1 August 2017

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Did you know about these free health care services for Queenslanders?

13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)

13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) is a 24 hour phone service you can call to receive confidential, qualified health advice from a registered nurse.

When to use it:

  • if you have questions about your health or the health of someone you are caring for
  • any time, any day – 13 HEALTH operates 24/7
  • not in an emergency – call Triple Zero (000) for serious or life threatening illness or injuries.

Queensland Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26)

The Poisons Information Centre provides poison advice through a helpline (13 11 26), available 24 hours, 7 days a week. Specially trained pharmacists can determine whether medical attention is needed and provide first aid advice, as well as offer poisoning prevention information.

When to use it:

  • if you think you or someone you are caring for may have swallowed something poisonous, been stung or bitten by a poisonous insect or animal, breathed in a poison, or touched something poisonous, including chemicals and plants
  • any time, any day – the Poisons helpline operates 24/7
  • not in an emergency  – call Triple Zero (000) for serious or life threatening illness or injuries.

If someone has collapsed, or is not breathing, ring 000 for an ambulance first. Only ring the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26) for information once the ambulance is on the way.

Quitline (13 78 48)

Queenslanders who want to quit smoking can call Quitline (13 78 48) for information, advice and assistance tailored to their needs. Callers may request to speak with one of Quitline’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counsellors.

When to use it:

  • if you’re thinking about or trying to quit smoking
  • between 7am and 10pm, 7 days a week.

Get Healthy (13 43 25 84)

Get Healthy (13 43 25 84) is a phone coaching service that supports adults to make healthy lifestyle choices. Callers can receive information about health and wellbeing, or enrol in a 6 month coaching program.

When to use it:

  • if you are a Queensland resident aged over 16
  • 8am – 8pm, Monday – Friday
  • if you have questions about healthy eating, lifestyle and exercise
  • if you want support to meet your healthy lifestyle goals.

My health for life  

My health for life is a healthy lifestyle program for Queensland adults who want to reduce their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  This 6 month healthy lifestyle program is delivered through either local group based sessions or individual telephone coaching.  

When to use it:

  • if you are a Queensland resident over 45 years of age and at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke
  • if you are a Queensland Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander resident over 18 years of age and at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke
  • if you have a previous history of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol.

You can do a free online health check at www.myhealthforlife.com.au or call 13 RISK (13 7475) to find out if you are eligible for the program.

A group of people, young and old, talk after exercising at a gym.

Whooping cough and influenza vaccines for pregnant women

Whooping cough and influenza vaccines are provided free of charge for pregnant women in Queensland. These vaccines can provide protection for both mum and baby, including in the first months after the baby has been born.

Please note: while the vaccine is free, check with your GP if they charge a fee for the visit.

When to use it:

  • pregnant women should receive their whooping cough vaccination in the third trimester of pregnancy, preferably between 28 and 32 weeks
  • pregnant women should consult with their GP about the best time to receive the influenza vaccination: ideally it should be as early as possible in pregnancy but the precise timing will depend on time of year, vaccine availability, and the flu season.

Mobile Women’s Health Service

The Mobile Women’s Health Service provides free and confidential health services in rural and remote Queensland.

The service provides health services and support for women including:

  • cervical screening (Pap smears)
  • breast care
  • sexual health screening
  • family planning and contraception
  • menopause and hormone replacement
  • osteoporosis
  • bladder problems
  • period concerns
  • sexuality concerns
  • puberty
  • domestic violence and sexual assault
  • healthy lifestyles including nutrition, weight and stress management
  • and health promotion and education on a range of topics.

Newborn drop-in services

Parents of newborn babies can access free drop-in services for information about parent and infant development, feeding help and support.

When to use it:

  • when you have a newborn baby
  • if you require general information and support about parenting and your baby’s development.

Child health clinics

Queensland parents can access free services at child health clinics across the state, which provide parenting information and support for families. Appointments are required.

When to use it:

  • if you have a child or children and have questions about parenting, nutrition or child growth and development.

Public dental services

Eligible children and adolescents can receive free general dental care through school dental clinics, mobile dental vans and some community dental clinics. Almost 85% of children and adolescents are eligible.

For children to be eligible for free public dental care they must:

  • Be Queensland residents or attend a Queensland school; and,
  • Be eligible for Medicare*; and,
  • Meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • ­be aged four years or older and have not completed Year 10; or,
  • be eligible for the Medicare Child Dental Benefits Schedule; or,
  • hold, or be listed as a dependent on, a valid Centrelink concession card.

*Eligibility for Medicare includes holders of green or blue Medicare cards but excludes yellow Medicare cards which are issued to visitors from countries with reciprocal health care agreements.

Children that reside in states or territories other than Queensland but attend a Queensland school and meet the other criteria listed above, are eligible for free public oral health services.

Queensland Ambulance services

Permanent Queensland residents receive free emergency pre-hospital ambulance treatment and transport nation-wide. You should always call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance for serious or life-threatening illness or injuries.

When to use it:

  • in an emergency: if you or someone else is seriously or life-threateningly ill or injured, call Triple Zero (000).

Retrieval Services Queensland

Retrieval Services Queensland (RSQ) provide aeromedical (plane) patient transport for inter-hospital transport and emergency services in rural and remote areas.

When to use it:

  • RSQ might be called on to provide emergency help if you are living, working or traveling in rural or remote Queensland and have a life threatening illness or injury (always call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency).
  • A poster details the 21,000 emergency referrals coordinated by RSQ last year.

Last updated: 21 August 2017