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

4-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.

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

Location

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.

Male or female?

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.

Specialties

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

A My Health Record allows you to share your health information with doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers if you want to so they can treat you effectively.

Opening hours

Ask about opening hours, including after-hours care, home visits and longer appointments.

Language

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.

Types of treatment

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.

Cost

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.

Questions to ask

After your first visit, you might like to 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.

ASK YOUR DOCTOR — Preparing for an appointment? Use the Question Builder for general tips on what to ask your GP or specialist.

How to find a health 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.

You can also call the Primary Health Network (PHN) in your area to find a GP or another health professional. They might be able to provide information about local health professionals, such as their special interests and languages spoken. To find your nearest PHN, you can use the interactive map locator on the Department of Health website.

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.

Choosing the most appropriate health service

Watch these videos to learn which services are best for your health needs.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: October 2020


Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Find a mental health professional - Beyond Blue

What’s the difference between a psychologist and counsellor? Learn what different professionals do and find mental health services near you.

Read more on Beyond Blue website

Allied health professionals and you | Agency for Clinical Innovation

This booklet talks about how people with dementia and their families and carers can improve their lives by talking to allied health professionals.

Read more on ACI - Agency for Clinical Innovation website

Telehealth

Telehealth is a health appointment by videoconference, connecting you with your medical specialist, allied health professional or nurse.

Read more on WA Health website

Partner's guide | Healthy Male

If your loved one is facing a health issue, you might want to find resources to help you provide appropriate support, but make sure to look after yourself by understanding how their health condition can impact on you

Read more on Healthy Male - Andrology Australia website

Multidisciplinary Care in MND: Factsheet | MND Australia | MND Australia

Motor neurone disease multidisciplinary care is delivered by a range of professionals who work together to deliver comprehensive care. Learn more.

Read more on MND Australia website

Talk about it - Beyond Blue

It’s hard to get through anxiety and depression by yourself. Find the right person, find the words and take action.

Read more on Beyond Blue website

Getting help from a general practitioner (GP)

General practitioners (GPs) are doctors who are trained to help you with any type of physical or mental health issue.

Read more on headspace 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

Mental Health and Supported Decision Making

Mental Health and Supported Decision Making: Lived Experience Perspectives. Find out about what it is like to experience severe mental health problems by seeing and hearing people’s stories on film and audio-recording.

Read more on Healthtalk Australia website

Mental health professionals & your teen | Raising Children Network

Expect mental health professionals for teens to be competent, skilled, knowledgeable and caring. These qualities underpin good professional relationships.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice 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 and advice

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 Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.