Travel Info

Elanora, Currumbin and Palm Beach increased its community health credentials today when The Pines Family Practice received a national award of accreditation, demonstrating its commitment to quality and safety within its practice.

The Pines Family Practice received this important recognition from Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL), the leading not-for-profit provider of general practice accreditation services within Australia.

AGPAL Chair Dr Richard Choong said accreditation shows the practice makes a significant investment and commitment to quality on a day-to-day basis, across all levels of the practice team.

“Achieving accreditation is a major achievement for any practice and a clear demonstration that The Pines Family Practice is striving to improve their level of care to both patients and the community,” he said.

“Practices seek accreditation because they want to do their best and view this as another step towards excellence in patient care.”

To achieve accreditation, a practice team works over a 12 month period to implement the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices, (the recognised national standard), which provides a template for quality care and risk management.

“Everyone at the practice plays a valuable role in working to meet the RACGP standards. It gives staff a real sense of pride to work in an accredited practice,” added Dr Choong.

The Pines Family Practie proudly displays the AGPAL symbol for all their patients to see.

“We want community members, nation-wide to know that their wellbeing is our priority. By choosing to attend an accredited practice, patients know they will get quality and safe care”

Data from Indonesia’s Animal Husbandry Agency shows that rabies continues to be a problem on the island of Bali.

The number of human deaths caused by the virus this year had already reached 14 by August, compared with one and two deaths respectively in 2013 and 2014. The virus has been found in 159 villages and the Agency expresses concerns that is now found in some tourist areas such as Ubud, Gianyar, Kuta and Badung.

Travellers should be aware of the risk and avoid animal contact and report any bites promptly. A course of pre-exposure vaccination, though expensive, should be considered


Volunteering overseas can be a rewarding travel experience, allowing you to be immersed in a different culture, meet and work with locals and likeminded travellers and make a contribution to a community in need. Reading and following the advice on this page will help to ensure that your overseas volunteering experience is safe, ethical and worthwhile.

We recommend that you volunteer with a reputable organisation, arrange your work visas and make appropriate arrangements for placement before you leave Australia. In some countries, finding a placement with a volunteer organisation on arrival is not possible.

This page should be read in conjunction with Travel advice: hints for Australian travellers and the travel advice for your planned destination.

If you are planning a trip overseas, organising your medicine is one of the most important things you can do. If you require prescription medicine, it is important you have this medicine with you so you remain in good health while you are away.

It is illegal to take Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines out of Australia unless the medicine is for your personal use, or the personal use of someone travelling with you.

If you are planning to take prescription medicines overseas for your own personal use or the personal use of someone in your care who is travelling with you:

  • read the travel advice and check with the embassies of the countries you’re visiting to make sure your medicine is legal there
  • carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you’ll be taking and stating the medicine is for your personal use or the personal use of someone with you (for example, a child)
  • leave the medicine in its original packaging so it can be easily identified.

More information on travelling with medicines and medical devices:

  • Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. The threat in some destinations is very high. We continue to receive reports that terrorists are actively planning attacks. See Safety and Security: Terrorism (below) and our country specific travel advisories for details of terrorist threats to specific locations and types of venues.
  • Violent and petty crime occurs in many countries. You should familiarise yourself with the types of crime that may occur and locations where you may be particularly at risk.
  • You should avoid demonstrations and protests as they may turn violent. In periods surrounding elections, unrest and violent protests can occur.
  • When you are overseas, local laws apply to you and penalties, particularly for drug-related offences, can be severe and may include the death penalty. The Australian Government can’t get you out of jail.
  • Transport safety standards vary widely. You should understand the risks and plan your travel accordingly.
  • Be aware that in some locations there is a risk to travellers from water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases, as well as malaria and other insect-borne diseases. See your doctor or travel clinic for information on preventive measures, immunisations and disease outbreaks overseas. Our Health page has information on staying well overseas.
  • Many Australians are affected by natural disasters and health emergencies overseas each year. You should monitor the media, be aware of emerging risks and take appropriate precautions.
  • Travel insurance policies may not provide cover if an incident occurred while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Advice for young travellers (including Schoolies, gap year travellers and volunteers)and for business travellers is available.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:

Ebola in GuineaJune 17, 2015

  • CDC urges all US residents to avoid nonessential travel to Guinea and Sierra Leone because of unprecedented outbreaks of Ebola in those countries. CDC recommends that travelers to these countries protect themselves by avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are sick, because of the possibility they may be sick with Ebola.

Cholera – causes and symptoms
Cholera is an infectious disease with diarrhoea caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.

The disease is most common in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war and famine. Common locations include parts of Africa, south Asia, Latin America and Haiti (following the earthquake in 2010). If you are travelling to one of those areas knowing the following cholera facts can help protect you and your family.

Cholera symptoms
Symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection. Often symptoms are mild but sometimes they are very serious. About one in 20 people infected have severe watery diarrhoea accompanied by vomiting which can quickly lead to dehydration. Although many infected people may have minimal or no symptoms they can still contribute to spread of the infection.

Aside from vaccination you can protect yourself and your family by using only water that has been boiled, water that has been chemically disinfected, or bottled water. Cholera Picture for Website

This Advice was last issued on Thursday, 30 April 2015.   An Australian Defence Force aircraft is scheduled to arrive in Kathmandu on Thursday afternoon (30 April) with capacity to transport Australians requiring assistance to depart Nepal from Kathmandu to Bangkok. Priority will be given to the elderly, people who are sick or have pressing medical issues and families with young children, but all those who wish to depart should register their interest in this flight (see under Local travel).

  • Our bulletin for Australians in Nepal has information on departure options via Australian Defence Force aircraft and what to do to stay safe. Australians in Nepal are encouraged to leave at their earliest opportunity.
  • A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April 2015. The epicentre was 80 kms west of Kathmandu. Extensive damage has occurred to buildings, including in Kathmandu and Pokhara, and avalanches have been reported in the Macchaputre and Everest regions. A large number of deaths and injuries have been reported. Disruption to telecommunications, transport, essential services and infrastructure continues.
  • We advise Australians to reconsider their need to travel to Nepal while relief and recovery efforts are underway. Aftershocks are still occurring and may continue for weeks, creating a risk of further building collapses and avalanches. There are also reports of shortages of food, water and accommodation in some locations.

Indian family gathering

People who are traveling to a foreign country to visit friends or relatives (called “VFR travelers” by some professionals) are at higher risk for some diseases. The risk is higher because VFR travelers generally stay longer than tourists, eat local food in people’s homes, and may not take the same precautions (such as preventing bug bites) as tourists do. VFR travelers often do not see a doctor for vaccines and advice before they travel, possibly because of cost, cultural or language barriers, or limited time. If you are planning to travel overseas to visit friends or relatives, consider your increased risk of illnesses and plan accordingly.


VFR travelers are 8–10 times as likely to be infected with malaria as tourists, and in recent years, several VFR travelers have died of malaria after they returned to the United States. Many VFR travelers assume they are immune to malaria if they were born or lived a long time in a country with malaria, but any immunity disappears quickly after a person moves away. If you are going to a country with malaria, take malaria-prevention medicine according to your doctor’s instructions, even if your friends and relatives who still live in the country do not.


VFR travelers may think they can buy malaria medicine or other medicine more cheaply in the country they are visiting. However, you need to start taking malaria pills before you leave the United States in order to be protected. In addition, any medicine you buy outside the United States may be counterfeit—it may not have any active ingredients, or it may contain harmful substances. It’s often impossible to tell real and counterfeit medicines apart, so bring all your medicine from the United States.

Foodborne Illness

Illnesses spread through contaminated food are common in VFR travelers, who often feel pressure to eat what they are served by family or friends. VFR travelers also do not have the same immunity to local bacteria as their friends and relatives do. Some foodborne illnesses, such as hepatitis A and typhoid, can be prevented with vaccines, but many others cannot. See a doctor before you travel to get any vaccines you may need, but also be very careful about what you eat and drink. In general, food that is cooked and served hot is safe to eat, and beverages from sealed containers are safe to drink. Avoid food served at room temperature, raw fruits or vegetables (unless they can be peeled), tap water, and ice made from tap water.

Other Illnesses

teenagers gathered for quinceanera celebration

Other health considerations for VFR travelers include dengue and other infections spread by mosquitoes as well as parasites in water, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases. Before your trip, consult a travel medicine specialist who can give you customized advice on staying safe and healthy at your destination. At this consultation, you may be advised to use insect repellent, avoid swimming in fresh water, and take other steps to help you enjoy your visit without worrying about getting sick or injured.

  • February 18, 2015According to the World Health Organization, about 17,267 suspected measles cases, including 5,568 confirmed cases and 2 measles deaths, were reported in Vietnam as of December 20, 2014. CDC recommends that travelers to Vietnam protect themselves by making sure they are vaccinated against measles, particularly infants 6–11 months of age (1 dose of measles vaccine) and children 12 months of age or older (2 doses of measles vaccine). Clinicians should keep measles in mind when treating patients with fever and rash, especially if the patient has recently traveled internationally.