Annual health checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can get a free health check once a year, as well as free follow-up care if needed. This helps keep people healthy by identifying risks of ill health early to prevent chronic conditions from developing.
Supporting health with free annual health checks
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.
Good health starts with the 715 health check.
It keeps our health heading in the right direction, and can help to stop small health problems becoming big ones.
Getting a regular health check tells you important information about the health of your body.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages can get an annual 715 health check. They are free at Aboriginal Medical Services and bulk-billing clinics.
First, you might need to make an appointment. Contact your local health service to find out. They may also be able to organise transport for you, if you need it.
When you arrive, you will be asked for your contact details, your Medicare card, or your concession card. So make sure to bring them along, or check that they are on file.
A nurse, health worker or doctor will ask you about your health and your family medical history. You can tell them about any worries your might have. They will gather information about your health. The information will be different, depending on your age.
They might check your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, height and weight. You may also have a blood or urine test. Depending on the information you've given, you might have some other tests too.
You can also talk to the nurse, health worker or doctor about your family's health, and how to make sure kids, parents, aunts and uncles can get their health check up.
Your doctor or health practitioner will then talk to you about the information you've given. Together, you'll talk about a plan to stay in good health. You might also be referred to a specialist or other health professional to better manage things like diabetes or nutrition.
All up, the 715 health check should take under an hour. You might also be referred to your health service's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker who can help guide you to develop a health action plan.
Get on board with the 715 health check, because your health is in your hands. Contact your local health service, and book a 715 check up for you and your family today.
Where you can get a free annual health check
You can get your free health check at any Aboriginal Medical Service or bulk-billing clinic. If you prefer to not go in person, you can ask whether they offer phone or video (telehealth) appointments. The service will be able to answer your questions and help you access the services you need.
If you can, try to go to the same doctor or clinic each time, so the health professionals you see know about your health needs.
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 developed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
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:
- mental health.
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.
This collection contains videos, podcasts and print resources about the free annual health check for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.