Tasmanians urged to get the right care for their needs this festive period
The Department of Health is calling on Tasmanians to know their care options if they have an urgent health issue over the Christmas period.
Some healthcare providers may have different hours over the Christmas and New Year period, including public holidays, and Tasmanians may be away from their usual health service visiting families and friends in different parts of the state.
Services such as Healthdirect, afterhours GPs and pharmacies are still available during the festive period and offer fast advice and/or treatment without the need for a trip to the emergency department (ED).
State-operated COVID-19 services will also continue to operate, including testing clinics and the COVID@homeplus service.
Department Deputy Secretary Dale Webster encouraged Tasmanians to familiarise themselves with what non-emergency services are available to make sure they get the right care, in the right place at the right time and help reduce pressure on busy EDs.
“If you’re feeling unwell and not sure what to do, calling Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to speak to a Registered Nurse is a great option,” said Mr Webster.
“They are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can provide advice on whether you should manage your condition at home, book an appointment with a GP or go to the ED.
“If needed, Healthdirect can direct you to nearby services or offer a call back from a GP.
“Your GP is usually the first person you go to with a health issue, but if they have different operating hours over Christmas, afterhours GP services or walk-in clinics are available in different parts of the State.
“Community pharmacies can also provide advice and treatment for common ailments and illnesses, and many are open on evenings, weekends or public holidays.
“If you need emergency medical care for a serious injury or illness, you should call triple zero (000) or make your way to the nearest ED – our staff will be there for you.
“But if you go to the ED with a less urgent injury or illness, you may have to wait longer than you would with one of these more appropriate alternatives.”
Mr Webster said Tasmania’s COVID-19 services will also continue to be available to support people who need it:
“State-operated PCR testing clinics and RAT distribution centres in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport are also open Monday to Saturday, including public holidays.”
For more information about Healthdirect, visit www.healthdirect.gov.au. The website provides information on symptoms, medicines and a comprehensive service finder showing GP and pharmacies based on location.
For more information about non-emergency care options available in Tasmania, visit: www.health.tas.gov.au/rightcare