If you identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person and have a Medicare card, you can get a free health check every year.

This health check is important. It can help identify whether you’re at risk of illnesses or chronic conditions. It’s much easier to prevent these than to treat them, so catching them early can make a big difference.

If you have a chronic condition, your health check can help make sure you are getting the medication and care you need.

You can also ask your doctor about anything you’re worried about or need help with.

Your doctor can only do this health check if you agree. You can have it every 9 to 12 months, and it’s free at any Aboriginal Medical Service or bulk-billing clinic.

After your health check, your doctor can refer you to up to 10 free follow-up services if needed, like:

  • a specialist or another health service
  • a counsellor
  • a service that works to prevent chronic conditions.

The 715 Health Check is free at Aboriginal Medical Services and bulk billing clinics and is available annually to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages. Further information, including resources for patients and health practitioners, is available at www.health.gov.au/715-health-check

What happens at a free annual health check

Your health check can take up to an hour. As well as the doctor, you might also see a nurse, an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health worker or another health practitioner.

Your check will depend on your age and circumstances, but your health professional might:

  • check your blood pressure
  • check blood sugar levels
  • measure your height and weight
  • do a blood test
  • do a urine test
  • ask about the health of your family
  • talk to you about your health priorities and goals
  • do other tests, as needed.

Remember that it’s your check, so tell your health worker about any worries you have.

Your doctor will write down information from your health check on one of the templates from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Your doctor will let you know if you need any follow-up care to look after your health, and where you need to go for that care.

They might suggest services to help you with your:

  • heart
  • vision
  • hearing
  • movement
  • mental health.

If you have a Health Care Card, and have or are at risk of having a chronic condition, you might also get free or discounted medicines.

Your health is in your hands – resources to promote annual health checks

An annual health check can make a real difference in keeping people healthy and strong. But only about 30% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are getting their health check.

We have resources to explain the health check and encourage more people to get theirs.

Annual health check for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – Resource collection

This collection contains videos, podcasts and print resources about the free annual health check for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Above information courtesy of Australian Government Department of Health website.