We Are Open – extended hours response by general practice and AMS

Emergencies and natural disasters may disrupt access to health care facilities, reduce the availability of the health workforce and cut off essential utilities such as electricity, water and telecommunications.

In rural areas particularly, there is also the potential for natural disasters and emergencies to exacerbate existing workforce shortages.

Primary health care, however, has an important role to play in the health of consumers affected by emergencies and disasters (Natural Disaster and Emergency Learnings: Recommendations Report, Rural NSW Natural Disaster and Emergency General Practice and Primary Health Partnership Group).

“We Are Open” focuses on supporting general practice and AMSs to extend their opening hours at short notice.


“We Are Open” supports general practice and AMSs to open for additional hours at short notice, during an emergency or natural disaster and in the immediate recovery. This initiative applies only to affected areas and to additional hours the practice would not normally provide.

Please also read the HealthPathways page Disaster Management – General Practice Response, which includes advice for GPs and nurses who may elect to attend evacuation centres as ‘spontaneous’ volunteers.

What's Involved

Healthy North Coast will make a payment of $400 per three-hour session on weeknights (5-8pm) and $600 per three-hour session on a weekend. This payment acknowledges the coordination work required to prepare for additional service delivery and outlays, should patient volume be low at such short notice. To participate, fill out the enrolment form in “Express Your Interest” below .

Enrolment requires a signed recipient created tax invoice (RCTI) agreement with Healthy North Coast.  An RCTI is a single form requiring the signature of a practice owner or delegate. This will allow Healthy North Coast to pay you for your after hour sessions without you needing to provide an invoice. Practices who have participated in other programs with Healthy North Coast before will already have one of these. You will also agree to:

    • allow Healthy North Coast to communicate your extended hours to evacuation centres, the LHD emergency departments and others involved in the emergency and relief efforts.
    • see new patients affected by the emergency.
    • charge patients the same bulk billing and fee structure as regular weekday fees.
    • provide information on patient volumes during the additional sessions (this information will be aggregated and will not identify activity at any individual practice).

You will also be asked which dates and times you will provide additional sessions.


  1. Submit your We Are Open Enrolment Form below
  2. Request payment using the We are Open Payment Request Form below. Please note: you must submit an enrolment form prior to requesting payment.
Express Your Interest
We Are Open Enrolment Form

We Are Open Payment Request Form

Please note: you must submit an enrolment form before requesting payment.

Contact for more information

For more information please contact your Primary Health Coordinator or Aboriginal Health Coordinator, contact details below.

Coordinator Contacts

Our organisation highly values our front-line partners in general practice, allied health, the Local Health Districts, as well as the wider health, mental health, and social service sectors.

The first point of contact for partner organisations and professionals seeking to improve joint health outcomes in the North Coast is the regional Primary Care Coordinators listed below.

Aboriginal health is a key priority for our organisation. We are committed to improving health outcomes and equitable outcomes across our region.

We have a dedicated Aboriginal Health Team to ensure Aboriginal health priorities across the North Coast are led by and identified in consultation with the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector (ACCS), Aboriginal people and communities.

We'd love to hear from you

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Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

Social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors are ineligible to list in the directory.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.