Outside of major cities, there is often limited access to health services in the after hours period. Sometimes people feel that the only option is to go to the Emergency Department or to call Triple Zero (000), which may not be necessary for the person’s health concern.
If you are needing health advice in the after hours period, there are options:
Contact your normal GP to see if they are open or have an after-hours arrangement
Some practices use their own GPs to provide after hours care, or alternatively might use a local cooperative of GPs or a medical deputising service. Ask your GP what arrangements they have in place to support patients needing care after hours.
Speak to an expert
If your doctor is unavailable, you can contact the healthdirect after hours GP helpline: 1 800 022 222
Funded by the Australian Government, the after hours GP helpline provides immediate access to health advice, helping patients make informed decisions about what to do, and, if necessary, where to go in the after hours period.
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Seek emergency help
Online, 24/7 telephone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention service that provides counselling, information and referrals to all Australians experiencing a personal crisis.
A state-wide 24/7 telephone service which provides NSW residents access to expert mental health advice, support and referrals for people dealing with a mental health problem and their families and carers.
A telephone service that provides professional information, support and advice for palliative care patients, their carers, parents and families as well as health professionals during the after hours period 7 days a week.