After hours medical help and advice

The Central and Eastern Sydney PHN After Hours program is about improving access to primary health care in the after hours period so that people can receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

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After hours health advice

healthdirect – 1800 022 222

After hours GP helpline is free (on landlines and some mobile phones) and provides you with access to a GP at night, on weekends and public holidays.

When your GP is not available and you have a health concern, call the after hours GP helpline for medical advice and peace of mind. You will receive advice on what to do about your health concern and where to go if you need face-to-face care.

If you are calling from outside of major cities the after hours GP helpline is available:

  • Monday to Friday 6pm – 7.30am
  • Saturday from midday
  • Sunday and Public Holidays all day.

If you are calling from major cities the after hours GP helpline is available:

  • Monday to Friday from 11pm – 7.30am
  • Saturday from 6pm
  • Sunday and Public Holidays all day.

Call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to access a GP.

The after hours GP helpline is not a substitute for face to face after hours care for those people who need it.

Finding a health service

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Visiting a GP after hours

To search for General Practice services open in your area now, use the Find a Health Service widget on the right hand side or visit healthdirect - find local health services

I need a GP to visit me at home

To search for General Practice after hours home visits, use the Find a Health Service widget on the right hand side or go to healthdirect - find local health services

I have an emergency and need urgent attention

If your health concern is an emergency, go to your nearest emergency department. Find your nearest ED by using the Find a Health Service widget on the right hand side or visit healthdirect - find local health services

 

Information for stakeholders

What is the After Hours program?

The After Hours program supports the access, efficiency and effectiveness of after hours primary health care within the central and eastern Sydney region. We work closely with stakeholders to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of after hours primary health care for patients, particularly those with limited access to health services; and improve access to after hours primary health care through effective planning, coordination and support for population based after hours primary health care.

What has the After Hours Program achieved?
  • Partnering with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, the After Hours team implemented a project to expand and improve services the Geriatric Flying Squads within St George Hospital, Southcare Sutherland Hospital and Community Health Services regions. This expansion will increase the capacity of these services to provide services to residents in Aged Care Facilities, including assessments, triage services, care planning and follow up.
  • Currently working with the local health districts to implement similar models of care within the Prince of Wales, War Memorial and St Vincent’s hospitals regions.
  • Working alongside Sydney Local Health District to expand their vision of care within residential facilities, helping to fund an initiative with their outreach team.
  • Continued to encourage the After Hours GP Practice Incentive Program to maintain or improve after hours GP services.
  • Collected data from multiple sources on a regular basis to:
    1. identify service gaps
    2. measure the utilisation of available services
    3. inform decision on funding allocation; and
    4. target the right groups/areas for marketing and promotion.
What is the After Hours Team working on now?
  • Providing After Hours Innovation and Service Grants for eligible health care providers to support innovation in developing and implementing models of after hours primary care services.
  • Emergency department research projects.
  • Reducing inappropriate emergency department presentations.
  • Marketing and promotional material to ensure appropriate service utilisation.

For more information, email the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN After Hours Team.

Practice Incentive Payments (PIP) for After Hours

The After Hours Practice Incentive Program (PIP) aims to support general practices to provide their patients with appropriate access to after hours care. The PIP is administered by the Department of Human Services on behalf of the Department of Health

 

The after hours period

The National Health Reform defines the after hours period as:

  • Before 8:00am and after 6:00pm weekdays
  • Before 8:00am and after 12:00pm Saturdays and
  • All day Sundays and Public Holidays

The after hours period can be further categorised into the following periods:

  • the sociable after hours period, between 6:00pm and 11:00pm and
  • the unsociable after hours period, between 11:00pm and 7:00am. During this time it is particularly difficult for people to access after hours primary care and for providers to be sustainable in operating their after hours services.