Emergency Departments are for Emergencies

Consider a pharmacy for minor conditions such as:

  • Cold
  • Constipation
  • Hay fever
  • Mild skin irritation
  • Minor grazes
  • Nappy rash
  • Tinea.

Pharmacies are a great source of free health information. Appointments are not usually needed and information about how to treat minor illnesses and injuries can generally be provided quickly and easily.

If the pharmacist thinks a higher level of treatment is needed, they will recommend a GP or an emergency department.

Pharmacies can:

  • Provide information on treatment options for minor illnesses and injuries
  • Dispense prescription medicines and provide advice on how to take them safely
  • Dispense repeat prescriptions
  • Provide after hospital care including medicine management, specialist products and advice and help to find support networks
  • Provide community support in all aspects of medication and primary care
  • Give free advice on how to make healthy lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking, eating healthily and drinking alcohol responsibly.

Most pharmacies also offer additional services such as:

  • Emergency contraception (known as the ‘morning after pill’)
  • Health checks
  • Screening for conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) supply.

To find out more about the services local pharmacies can provide, visit the Ask Your Pharmacist website.

Find a pharmacy

Many pharmacies are open late and on the weekends and public holidays. To find a local pharmacy, including those that are open after hours, visit the National Health Service Directory*.

Other specialist health services may also be useful.

Babies, children and the elderly

Some conditions that are not life-threatening for an adult can be more serious for babies, children and the elderly. If you are unsure or concerned, phone or visit a GP or go to the emergency department.

Find out more about care for children and preventing illness.

This information is a guide only and is not intended to be individual medical advice and should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace consultation with a qualified doctor or other health care professional.
If symptoms don’t improve, or get worse, phone or visit a GP. In an emergency, always call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

*The National Health Services Directory is not managed by SA Health and SA Health cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. For the most up to date information, contact the service provider directly.

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