On 1 July 2011, the Australian Government established a new after hours GP helpline.

If you have an urgent health concern and don’t know what to do, call the after hours GP helpline on 1800 022 222 – for free health information and assistance from a registered nurse, or medical advice from a GP if you need it.

Available through healthdirect Australia, the after hours GP helpline is open when your GP may not be – at nights, on weekends and on public holidays – 365 days a year. If you don’t know what to do, the after hours GP helpline will give you the reassurance and practical advice you need.

When you call the new helpline, your call will be answered by a registered nurse who will assess your condition. If necessary, the nurse will transfer you to a GP on the telephone. The GP will talk with you, assess your condition, make a diagnosis and provide medical advice.

If you need to see a health professional immediately, you will be referred to the most appropriate local face-to-face after hours services.

The after hours GP helpline is not intended for patients with life-threatening conditions that need to be treated immediately. If your call is an emergency, you will be immediately transferred to ‘000’ with the nurse or GP staying on the line. The helpline is also not intended for patients whose condition can wait until their GP’s practice is open.

The after hours GP helpline is intended as an additional service to existing after hours arrangements. If you choose to, you can access these arrangements in the same way you do now.

You may need to see your usual GP the next day. If so, the after hours GP helpline can send a record of your telephone consultation to your GP, with your permission.

At a glance

  • Phone number: 1800 022 222
  • Free from a landline
  • Operating times:
    – 6pm to 8am Monday to Friday
    – 6pm Friday to 8am Saturday
    – 12noon Saturday to 8am Monday
    – 24 hours on public holidays
  • As of 1 July 2011 the helpline became available in the following states:
    – Australian Capital Territory
    – New South Wales
    – Northern Territory
    – South Australia
    – Western Australia

For more information visit www.yourhealth.gov.au/gphelpline