If you need help when unwell or have a minor injury, there are after-hours healthcare options that don’t involve a trip to a hospital emergency department. These options include telephone helplines, pharmacies, after-hours services and medical clinics, or video telehealth.
For unexpected medical issues that are not an emergency, there are services that may offer a quicker response than attending an emergency department.
Note: many clinics and services are experiencing high demand due to concerns about COVID-19 and influenza.
Who should you call in a non-emergency?
Your first point of care when feeling unwell is to visit your local GP. If your GP isn’t available or you’re not familiar with the area, you can use the National Health Services Directory search service to find a GP near you.
Talking to a pharmacist is free and some pharmacies stay open after business hours. Use the National Health Services Directory search service to find a pharmacy near you.
Supercare Pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offer a nursing service from 6pm to 10pm. In the EMPHN region there are 3 Supercare Pharmacies:
- Balwyn - Balwyn Day and Night Pharmacy, 314/310 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn. Tel: (03) 9836 3245
- Wantirna South - Pharmacy@Knox, Westfield Shopping Centre, 425 Burwood Hwy, Wantirna South. Tel: (03) 9800 5199
- Ringwood - Chemist Warehouse Ringwood - Supercare Pharmacy, 131-133 Maroondah Highway Ringwood. Tel: (03) 9870 5022
General Practice Respiratory Clinics (GPRC) provide individuals with mild respiratory issues, access to comprehensive assessments including, treatment and management of asthma, hayfever, influenza, mild shortness of breath and COVID-like symptoms. The facilities are open seven days a week and provide after-hours support. They are available to all Victorians regardless of a Medicare card at no cost.
Six state-funded GPRCs are located in the EMPHN catchment. They can be found in Mill Park, Glen Waverley, Ashburton, Heidelberg, and the recently opened Mitcham and Lilydale clinics. View locations and booking links on our website.
NURSE-ON-CALL is a telephone helpline that provides expert, immediate health advice from a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NURSE-ON-CALL can also give you information about health services in your area.
Open: 24h, 7 days a week
Tel: 1300 60 60 24
Palliative Care Advice Service – If you have questions about living with or caring for someone with a life-limiting condition, contact the Palliative Care Advice Service. The Palliative Care Advice Service is a phone-based service for anyone seeking access to specialist guidance and advice for those living with a life-limiting illness and those who support them. The service is for family, friends and neighbours as well as all healthcare workers.
Open: 7am-10pm, 7 days a week
Tel: 1800 360 000
healthAbility's After Hours Mental Health Nurse support service funded by EMPHN can provide individuals experiencing stress, anxiety, depression or grief a chance to talk with a mental health nurse over the phone, via telehealth, or visit in person.
Open: Monday to Friday: 6.00pm – 11.00pm, weekends and public holidays: 2.00pm – 7.00pm
Tel: 1300 003 509
Address: 36 Wellington Road, Box Hill
Some medical clinics stay open in the evenings and on weekends, which can be a good option for people who need to see a doctor after hours for non-emergency medical treatment.
Eastern Health have been commissioned to provide after-hours GP services for the Healesville and surrounding communities though the Yarra Valley Community Medical Service.
Open: Monday to Friday 6pm to 8pm, weekends and public holidays 10am to 5pm
Tel: 1300 793 622
Address: 377 Maroondah Highway, Healesville.
If your regular GP does not provide after-hours care, you may be able to book an after-hours doctor to visit you at home between 6pm and early morning.
In the EMPHN catchment there are 2 services available. Patients registered with Medicare or Veterans Affairs are bulk billed for after hours in home visits. Other patients may be required to pay a fee.
Use the coverage map to determine whether the service is available in your area.
Open: Monday to Friday 6pm to 8am, weekends 12pm - 8am Monday and public holidays 24h.
Tel: 13 26 60
National Home Doctor
Use the suburb locator to determine whether the service is available in your area.
Open: Monday to Friday 6pm onwards, weekends 12pm onwards and public holidays 24h
Tel: 13 SICK (13 7425)
Video based telehealth
Northern Health’s Virtual Emergency Department (ED) is open 24/7 and allows patients to talk to emergency nurses and doctors from their home. If you have a non-life-threatening emergency, you can connect virtually with staff who will be able to provide medical advice.
The Virtual Emergency Department is available to all COVID-19 positive patients across Victoria, regardless of catchment. Patients that do not have COVID can only access this service if they live in the Northern Health’s catchment area or are a Northern Health patient.
My Emergency Doctor (MED) provides free urgent after-hours, high-quality phone and video consultations with ED Specialist Doctors for residents living in the EMPHN catchment as well as clients residing in Aged Care Facilities.
MED lines are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week although calls are funded through the PHN program only for the after-hours period. Calls received outside of these times are subject to charges.
After-Hours is defined as Monday - Saturday: 7pm – 8am, Sunday and Public Holidays: 24hrs.