As we all know sickness has a mind of its own. It can pop up anytime unannounced and leave you feeling flat, nauseous or sniffling. If you’re unwell outside of business hours there are ways you can get medical help without additional costs.
Healthdirect is a government funded health service. Their free call helpline (1800 022 222) is open 24/7 and allows you to speak to registered nurses when you’re not sure what to do. They can help you determine whether you need to see a GP, how to manage the condition at home or whether you need to go to the emergency department.
If you live in a rural or remote area (meaning it’s longer than 15km by road to get to a doctor) than you are eligible for Telehealth.
Telehealth allows specialists and patients to have a consultation via video. All telehealth consultations can be claimed through Medicare, but it depends on the practitioner as to how much you get back. If you agree with the practitioner beforehand (via email) to have your consultation bulk-billed then you won’t be out of pocket.
13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) provides over the phone health advice, for all Queenslanders. The cost of this is the same as a local call. You can talk to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can help assess your symptoms, give home treatment advice and let you know if you need a doctor.
If you’re anywhere in Victoria you can call NURSE-ON-CALL (24 hours a day) for free health advice. They put you directly in touch with a registered nurse for caring, professional health advice around the clock. Their number is 1300 60 60 24.
House Call Doctor
If you become unwell after-hours you can phone House Call Doctor. This service sends a qualified doctor to your home and is 100% bulk-billed by Medicare. House call doctors are available in most metropolitan and regional parts of Queensland.
After-hours GPs treat urgent conditions that arise when regular GPs are closed, provided the situation does not require an Emergency response. House Call Doctor provides all after-hours consult notes to your regular GP, by the next business day.
See a Pharmacist
A pharmacist can be a great first option if you’re having regular health problems such as coughs, colds, flus, or a sore throat. Most of the symptoms of these illness can be treated by medicines they can dispense over the counter. You can find local pharmacies using a range of search tools online.