Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

How to find the right health professional

3-minute read

With so many health professionals to choose from, it’s worth thinking about which is best for you. Knowing which questions to ask, and how to search for the right professional, can help you make the right decision.

Things to keep in mind when choosing a healthcare professional

There are several things to keep in mind when you are looking for a health professional.

Some practices might be easier to travel to than others. For example, you might find it easier to visit a health professional closer to your work rather than near your home.

Another thing to consider is whether you feel more comfortable seeing a female health professional, or a male one. Perhaps it doesn't matter if they are a man or woman.

Some medical practices specialise in just one thing, such as psychology or physiotherapy, but other practices group together specialists that work in different areas of medicine. It might be more convenient for you if different health professionals work in the same place.

A My Health Record allows health professionals, including your GP, to access all your health records and to treat you most effectively.

If you need to see a health professional out of normal working hours, or you need them to visit your home, or you need to make a longer appointment time, find out if these services are available.

If you speak a language other than English, you might find it easier to see a health professional who speaks your language. Some healthcare professionals might also understand your cultural needs better than others.

Some treatments, or ways of working, might suit you better, so it helps to do as much research as you can. For example, if you need psychological treatment, you might prefer to work one-on-one with a health professional, or you might prefer to be part of a group.

Ask how much your treatment will cost, and how you will be billed for your treatment. Some health professionals bulk bill through Medicare, which means you won't have to pay them for your treatment.

Then after your first visit ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did I feel comfortable with them?
  • Did I feel comfortable asking questions?
  • Did they listen to me?

Here are more questions to ask your doctor, including questions about health problems, treatments, medicines, and tests.

How to find a healthcare professional

Many people find health professionals on the basis of a recommendation by a family member, friend, colleague, or another health professional (like a GP, or a specialist).

To find out more about selecting a GP you could visit the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners website.

A great way to find a GP or other health professional in your area is to use the healthdirect service finder to search for one. To find a clinical psychologist search the website of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association.

It is important to ensure that any health professional you see is qualified. You can check the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, or AHPRA. You can also check if they have been disciplined, and why.

Question builder

A tool to help you create a question list for your doctor’s appointment. Go to the Question Builder, prepare your list, then print or email it so you remember what you want to ask.

Last reviewed: November 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Find a Doctor - Whirled Foundation

Support for chronic imbalance sufferers

Read more on Whirled Foundation website

How far is too far - where to get help

GPs are the first health professional contacted by most people and they can help you access ongoing treatment

Read more on Eating Disorders Victoria website

Finding support | Cancer Australia

Having support during diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer is very important. Having good support from family and friends, from health professionals or special support services makes it much easier to cope with having cancer.It can be difficult for some people to talk about how they are coping. Some women feel they dont have the words to describe how theyre feeling. Others feel embarrassed or feel that they dont want to be a burden to family, friends or health professionals.

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Where to Seek Support | WayAhead

Caring for someone with a mental illness is a new experience for most people. It is usually a role they never expected or imagined they would need to take on. Working out what you need to know and the questions you need to ask is important. Who should I talk to regarding theillness? Mental health professionals such as

Read more on WayAhead Mental Health Association NSW website

Finding support | Ovarian Cancer

Its very important to have support from family, friends, health professionals or other services to help you cope with cancer.

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Mental health professionals for teenagers | Raising Children Network

Mental health professionals for teenagers include GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors and social workers. Find out how they can help your child.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Find an AMS doctor - Australasian Menopause Society

Find an AMS doctorTo help you find a doctor who is right for you, the AMS has assembled this search feature of AMS Members

Read more on Australasian Menopause Society website

How to make healthier meals | The Heart Foundation

The Heart Foundation saves lives and improves health through funding world-class cardiovascular research, guidelines for health professionals, informing the public and assisting people with cardiovascular disease

Read more on Heart Foundation website

Diagnosis - BluePages

Find out how depression is clinically diagnosed by health professionals.

Read more on e-hub Web Services - Australian National University (ANU) website

Heart conditions: diagnosis & treatment | The Heart Foundation

Find out about heart conditions, how theyre diagnosed and what can be done about them.

Read more on Heart Foundation website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback