Improving after hours services

Improving after hours services

31 May 2013

Healthcare minds meet to address after-hours health services

Northern Sydney Medicare Local champions communities after-hours service improvements

Improving the communities access to doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare services after-hours was on the minds of 18 healthcare representatives who met this week in North Ryde.

Championed by Northern Sydney Medicare Local, the forum brought together local frontline hospital staff, doctors, registered nurses, home-visiting doctor services, Local Health District and Health Direct Australia (the Governments online health directory service) representatives to review how after-hours healthcare services in Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Ryde and Hunters Hill areas can be improved.

We know that currently the community has limited options for accessing after-hours health services, commented Northern Sydney Medicare Local CEO, Mr Ramon del Carmen.

So we are seeing, in some cases, people turn to hospitals Emergency Departments for non-emergency needs. This is putting a strain on the hospital system, which is there to help with emergency medical needs.

The recent after-hours forum, held on Tuesday 28 May, is the first in a series that brings healthcare service providers together with the aim to build a better after-hours service into the future.

Together, with our local healthcare service providers, our aim is to continue improving after-hours healthcare options for the community, concluded Mr Ramon del Carmen.

After-hours services refers to medical and health advice services provided after 6pm and before 8am weekdays, from 12noon weekends and on public holidays.

Current after-hours healthcare services include:

  • Visiting doctors or pharmacists that are open extended hours. For a list of these practices and pharmacies visit
  • Contacting your local GP to find out what after-hours arrangements they have in place. Many GPs will provide a number for their home-visiting doctor services which charge a fee.
  • Contacting HealthDirect Australia on 1800 022 022, the Governments free 24 hours 7 days a week health advice line. A registered nurse will answer the call and provide appropriate advice on your health needs.

About Northern Sydney Medicare Local
Northern Sydney Medicare Local (NSML) is a local not-for-profit health organisation working to make it easier for people in Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Ryde and Hunters Hill to access the health services they need.