For Patients Accessing After Hours Service
After Hours primary care is accessible and effective care for people whose health condition (physical and mental) is urgent and cannot wait.
For life-threatening medical emergencies, call 000.
Contacting your regular GP should always be your first point of call if you need urgent medical care and it’s not a life-threatening medical emergency. Check your Medical Practice information sheet for details on accessing after hours consultations and support.
If access to your regular GP is not available, you can check whether a GP or pharmacy is open near your current location on the National Health Services Directory which can be found by visiting this link.
If you are seeking medical information or advice you can call 1800 022 222 available 24/7.
The after hours GP advice and support line provided by Healthdirect Australia, supports all Australians who do not have access to face to face GP services in the after hours period. It is a free national telephone support service where a registered nurse can provide medical information and advice. If needed, they can put you in touch with an on-call doctor.
Your After Hours Program
New funding arrangements for after hours service provision were implemented on 1 July 2015 and consist of a new Practice Incentive Payment (PIP) After Hours payment to general practices and funding to Primary Health Networks (PHN) to support local after hours services.
The After Hours Primary Health Networks key objectives is to:
- increase the efficiency and effectiveness of After Hours Primary Health Care for patients, particularly those with limited access to Health Service; and
- improve access to After Hours Primary Care through effective planning coordination and support for population based After Hours Primary Care.
The After Hours Program will be working with key local stakeholders to plan, coordinate and support after hours health services. The program will provide opportunities to improve access to after hours services that are tailored to the specific needs of different communities and will focus on addressing gaps in after hours service provision, ‘at risk’ populations and improved service integration.
The after-hours period is:
- before 8:00am and after 6:00pm weekdays
- before 8:00am and after 12:00pm Saturdays
- all day Sundays and public holidays.
After Hours Patient Information
Accessing information and services about After Hours can be confusing for patients and an important component is deciding what to do and where to go after hours. Many patients are provided with after-hours primary care services by their regular GP or at their usual health service and this is generally the preferred option. However, as this is not always possible, Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) After Hours Program has provided printed and website access to resources that may assist in making choices to meet your medical needs in the after hours periods. The printed resources are provided free and are distributed to General Practices, Pharmacies, Hospitals, Tourist Centres and NQPHN offices. .
Access to After Hours Services in Urban Areas – A list of After Hours Services for Mackay, Townville and Cairns of Open and Home Visiting Services that will see all patients in the after hours periods. Also provided in printed format with fridge magnet.