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Transcript 17943

GP health care a call away for families

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 30/06/2011

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 17943

After hours GP advice will only be a phone call away for Australian families with the launch of the after hours GP helpline tomorrow.

The new helpline is one of the Gillard Labor Government's key health initiatives that will provide late night reassurance for families, carers and anyone else needing medical advice after hours.

Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon today visited a call centre in Sydney to talk with doctors and nurses who will be providing support through the helpline.

The after hours GP helpline will be open when GPs may not be - at nights, on weekends and on public holidays - 365 days a year.

The Gillard Labor Government is making it easier for families to contact a doctor when they need to through initiatives like the after hours GP helpline.

It is another example of how Labor is delivering services that matter to families.

Our health reforms are already delivering more doctors, nurses and hospital beds across the country. We are also upgrading more than 400 GP clinics and building 64 GP Super Clinics to provide even better health care for all Australians. We understand the worry of looking after a sick kid and nothing is more reassuring than being able to pick up the phone and talk to a doctor at the other end.

In the middle of the night, mums and dads will be able to speak to a nurse or GP to get advice and, if needed, be referred to their nearest open after-hours service.

One of Australia's most trusted health brands, Medibank Health Solutions, will operate the after hours GP helpline with a team of about 100 GPs and more than 240 nurses on staff to answer calls.

The after hours GP helpline will be added to existing telephone-based nurse triage, information and advice services currently available across the country.

The service will be free to callers from landlines within Australia and will operate between 6pm and 8am Monday to Friday, 6pm Friday to 8am Saturday, 12pm Saturday to 8am Monday, and on all national and state/territory public holidays.

The after hours GP helpline number is 1800 022 222.

The service will be available in most states and territories from 1 July 2011, and in Queensland from early 2012, building on Queensland's existing nurse advice line.

The Gillard Government has offered to connect the after hours GP helpline to Victoria's nurse advice line, and is awaiting a response from the Victorian Government. Media note: Further details and examples of the advertising for the GP after hours GP helpline are available at www.yourhealth.gov.au

Transcript 17943