About Healthdirect Australia
Healthdirect Australia is a 24-hour telephone health advice line staffed by nurses to provide expert health advice and information.
The after hours GP helpline is now available through Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222. The helpline is available when your GP may be closed – at nights, on weekends and on public holidays.
How does Healthdirect Australia work?
Health information and advice is given by experienced, specially trained nurses using their clinical expertise along with:
- a computerised decision support system based on clinically approved and proven protocols
- a detailed health information database
- a comprehensive directory of local health services.
A nurse will assess the urgency of a caller's condition and advise them accordingly. Advice may include managing the problem with self-care, visiting a general practitioner or going to a hospital emergency department.
Nurses are unable to diagnose a caller’s conditions.
Healthdirect Australia works closely with the SA Ambulance Service to ensure the immediate dispatch of an ambulance in an emergency situation.
Why have Healthdirect Australia?
- Healthdirect Australia allows callers to make more informed decisions about their health.
- Healthdirect provides consistent and reliable health information and advice that is medically and legally sound. A computerised decision support system and proven clinical protocols are used to provide this service.
- Healthdirect makes health information and advice more easily accessible to groups such as Aboriginal people, people in rural and remote South Australia, people with disabilities, elderly people and people with speech and hearing impairments. People with language difficulties can use the interpreter service or the National Relay Service.
What is the after hours GP helpline?
The after hours GP helpline commenced in South Australia on 1 July 2011.
This service is available through Healthdirect Australia and is free from landline phones.
- after hours GP helpline operating times:
- 6.00 pm to 8.00 am Monday to Friday
- 6.00 pm Friday to 8.00 am Saturday
- 12 noon Saturday to 8.00 am Monday
- 24 hours on public holidays.
- Calls are answered by a nurse who will assess the caller’s condition. If necessary, the nurse will transfer callers to a GP on the telephone.
- The GP will talk to the caller, assess their condition, make a diagnosis and provide medical advice.
- The after hours GP helpline is not intended for patients with life-threatening conditions that need to be treated immediately.
- In an emergency, callers will be immediately transferred to ‘000’ with the nurse or GP staying on the line.