Health checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can access a health check every nine months. Health checks are available under item 715 of the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Health checks are available at Aboriginal Medical Services or any general practice clinic. A health check helps people to stay healthy and strong.

Page last updated: 04 April 2019

We acknowledge that many individuals refer to themselves by their clan, mob, and/or country. For the purposes of the health check, we respectfully refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander throughout.

Why have a 715 health check?

Having a health check provides important health information for you and your doctor.

Staying on top of your health is important. It helps to identify potential illnesses or chronic diseases before they occur. It is much easier to look at ways to prevent these things from occurring, rather than treatment. Your health can improve by not smoking, eating healthy, doing regular exercise and taking any medicines your doctor has prescribed.

What happens at the health check?

Having the health check can take up to an hour. A Practice Nurse, Aboriginal Health Worker or Aboriginal and Torres Starlit Islander Health Practitioner may assist the doctor to perform this health check. They will record information about your health, such as your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, height and weight. You might also have a blood test or urine test. It is also an opportunity to talk about the health of your family.

Depending on the information you’ve provided, you might have some other tests too. You’ll then have a yarn with the doctor or health practitioner about the tests and any follow up you might need. It’s also good to tell them about your family medical history or any worries you have about your health.

Who can access a 715 health check?

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can get a 715 health check every 9 months. The questions you will be asked as part of the health check will depend on your age.

Where can you access a 715 health check?

You can choose where you undertake a 715 health check. If you can, try to go to the same doctor or clinic. This helps make sure you are being cared for by people who know about your and your family’s health needs. If you see a new doctor, you should tell them about any previous plans you had in place for your health care.

Do I need to pay for the 715 health check?

The 715 health check is free when you visit an Aboriginal Medical Service. It is also free at bulk billing health clinics. You can call your local general practice clinic and ask them if there will be any cost to you before you book your appointment.

Why Should I Identify?

It’s important to tell the doctor if you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander so that they can make sure you get access to what you might need.

Medicare can help record this for you. Call the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access line on 1800 556 955. Staff are culturally trained to help you.

Other services may also be available to you like Closing the Gap prescriptions.

For more information about 715 health checks please go to Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.