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Defence Member and Family Support

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

Defence family health care

The National ADF Family Health Program is available to all ADF recognised dependants, no matter where you live. The program offers access to free basic health care to recognised dependants of ADF members. Families can be reimbursed for GP visits, all Medicare-recognised services, and a range of allied health care such as dental care, optometry and physiotherapy.

For more information or to download application forms visit the website or contact the ADF Family Health team on or on 02 6266 3547.

Sourcing health care in new locations

You can find information about sourcing health care services in a new posting location by visiting the Health Direct website.

We also have assistance available to help you access services for dependants with special needs when you move.

Private health insurance

Private health insurance can assist you to meet the costs of health care services such as specialist appointments, hospitalisation, ambulance transport, dental care and other allied health expenses.

You can learn more about private health insurance and compare policies and health funds on the Australian Government Private Health insurance website. An e-booklet called Insure is also available, and explains how Medicare and private health insurance work.

There are two private health insurance companies which specialise in providing insurance for Defence families: Defence Health and Navy Health (not restricted to Navy members).

ADF member health

Defence provides free healthcare to all ADF members, both on and off base. This includes medical and dental treatment, mental health services, ambulance transport and hospitalisation.

If the ADF member elects to use health services outside of those provided by Defence, including cosmetic procedures, they shoulder the cost themselves and must notify ADF health staff.

ADF members do not need a Medicare card to access Defence healthcare and do not have to pay the Medicare levy. However some members do choose to have a Medicare card or private health insurance if they use services outside of Defence.

Healthcare is provided by the individual Services on exercises and operations, and by Joint Health Command outside of operations including on base.

24-hour health support

If an ADF member needs urgent medical treatment when away from the workplace, they should call 1800 IM SICK (1800 467 425). The IM SICK line is a toll free, all-hours service that allows ADF personnel to discuss health concerns over the phone and receive immediate advice as to where they need to go to receive appropriate investigations and treatment.

This number should not be used as a substitute for Triple-Zero emergency services.

If the ADF member is ill or injured while away from home

If an ADF member is hospitalised due to serious illness or injury, a family member or close friend can access financial assistance to visit and support them.

Related: Emergency & crisis support