WESTERN Victorian residents can now access an after-hours doctor hotline for telephone advice. The GP helpline is designed to offer peace of mind for those unsure what to do with their health concern or direction to the nearest health service, if needed, when a regular general practice is closed.
Western Victoria Primary Health Network chief executive officer Jason Trethowan said 44 per cent of practices in western Victoria offered round-the-clock care and those that did were often stretched for resources. The after-hours GP helpline aimed to triage calls so practices only saw patients who need to be seen after-hours.
Calls connect to a registered nurse who may offer a call back from a GP. Ballarat also has bulk-billed national home doctor service for after hours (13SICK or 137425).
Ambulance Victoria Regional Director Terry Marshall said emergency ambulances were prioritised to most urgent or time-critical patients. He said Ambulance Victoria took calls seriously and was linking more people than ever to appropriate health professionals through its secondary triage service of paramedics and specially trained nurses.
GP helpline: 1800 022 222.
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