Let’s keep the emergency department for emergencies
You don’t need to go to the emergency department if you feel sick at night, on the weekend or a public holiday.
You should only go to the emergency department or call an ambulance in a medical emergency.
Melbourne is lucky to have a wide range of health services that come to you or are open outside business hours, but many people don’t know about them.
In an emergency always call 000
Visit a priority primary care centre
Priority primary care centres – supporting local hospitals
Priority primary care centres (PPCCs) partner with nearby hospital emergency departments. They provide free care for people with conditions that require urgent attention but not an emergency response. This includes conditions like mild infections and burns, suspected fractures or broken bones. They also offer pathology and imaging services.
The centres help Victorians who need urgent care get help faster, while keeping our busy emergency departments free for those in critical, life-threatening situations.
They operate seven days a week and up to 16 hours a day, accepting walk-ups, referrals and pre-booked appointments.
Visit the Better Health Channel website to find your nearest PPCC.
PPCCs are commissioned by Primary Health Networks with funding from the Victorian Government.
Call the hotline for free medical advice 24/7
NURSE-ON-CALL – 1300 60 60 24
Call the NURSE-ON-CALL 24/7 hotline for free medical advice from a registered nurse from anywhere in Australia.
You can also call the After Hours Helpline on 1800 022 222. This service is has coverage for most areas in Australia and provides free health care advice and information 24 hours a day (calls from landlines are free, mobile charges may apply).
NURSE-ON-CALL is a Victorian Government health initiative, delivered by Medibank Health Solutions.
For more information about NURSE-ON-CALL visit the Victorian Government website.
Contact the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department
The Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) allows you to access care for non-life-threatening emergencies. You can connect to the VVED from anywhere in Victoria.
If you are eligible, you will be connected virtually to emergency doctors and nurses who will provide medical advice, from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
As your consultation will be via video, you will need a device with a camera to use this service.
The VVED is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information visit vved.org.au
Find a health service
Use the Find a health service finder to locate services such as general practices, pharmacists, hospitals and emergency departments in your area.
Just enter your postcode and select the kind of service you are looking for. The service finder will even tell you what services are open right now.
Or find national health services anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. You can use the healthdirect app to: check your symptoms, find a health service, get trusted health information.
The healthdirect app is Australia’s free health app that helps you make informed decisions about your health.
The National Health Services Directory is an Australian Government service provided by HealthDirect.
Home visiting services
Contact your regular GP (doctor) to find out if they are open or have after hours arrangements. Some practices will have a message on their answering machine telling you what to do when the practice is closed.
If your regular doctor is not available, or you don’t have one, you can contact a home visiting doctor service. Check which service your doctor uses when you next visit to make sure important information can be shared between the after hours doctor and your own doctor.
Please note that home visiting services do not cover all areas of Melbourne and regularly change their coverage areas. Consult the home visiting service to find out if it operates in your area.
DoctorDoctor Phone: 13 26 60
National Home Doctor Service – Melbourne Phone: 13 7425 (13 SICK)
National Home Doctor Service – Geelong Phone: 13 7425 (13 SICK)
National Home Doctor Service – Shepparton Phone: 13 7425 (13 SICK)
National Home Doctor Service telephone 137 425
Doctor to You telephone 1300 30 38 34
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