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.

Search for a GP or pharmacy that is open after hours

The National Health Services Directory (NHSD) helps you to easily search for the closest doctor, pharmacy or other health services that are open now, including after hours. This service is provided by Healthdirect.

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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healthdirect 1800 022 222

Seek emergency help

Call 000 in a medical emergency or visit your nearest Emergency Department for a serious illness or injury.

Additional services

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.

From pregnancy to preschool, guidance and reassurance, every step of the way. 7 days a week. Video calls available.

A 24/7 telephone service that provides the latest poisons information and advice.

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