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Knowing where to get medical help can be confusing

Have you ever needed health care or advice out of hours and don’t know where to go? It can be very stressful. Think about the following scenarios, they’re each quite different, but they have something in common.

It’s 3am and your child has a high temperature. This happened once before and she started vomiting, couldn’t eat or drink and ended up in hospital with dehydration. You know she isn’t that sick yet, but you’re worried it could get worse if you don’t do something.

What if it was Saturday morning and you felt a headache coming on. Maybe it’s not so bad to start with, but soon you feel nauseous and sunlight hurts your eyes. You’ve heard people talk about what a migraine feels like and you’re sure these are the first signs. But what can you do? There’s no one else home to drive you to the after-hours GP and the only thing you can think to do is call the ambulance. Who can you ring for medical advice?

Perhaps you went to visit an elderly relative one evening after work. You arrive and they look off-colour and you’re worried because they have several health issues. You don’t want to leave them alone overnight, but don’t really know what’s happening. Would you wait until morning to take them the doctor?


By now you’ve probably realised what these stories have in common. In each case, a person feels sick, they are worried things could get worse and have to make a choice. Do they do nothing, go to the hospital or is there something else. That ‘something else’ is In each of these cases what the person really needs is advice on how and when to get care after hours. From the tasafterhours app you can call HealthDirect, a free, 24-hour helpline where you will speak to a nurse who can advise you on the right after hours care for your condition. They might direct you to a late night chemist in your area or an after hours medical centre, or advise you how to manage the condition at home until you can get an appointment with your doctor.

Save in your phone today, and next time you’re in a situation like this, you’ll know exactly where to turn.

While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.