Be sure, call NURSE-ON-CALL and leave emergency departments for emergencies

04 October, 2017

Australia is experiencing one of the worst flu seasons ever and Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) is urging the community if they’re unsure if the situation is an emergency to contact NURSE-ON-CALL for immediate health advice, around the clock.

So far in 2017 there have been more than 14,750 confirmed cases of influenza in Victoria – with many more notifications still expected – in comparison to 9,689 at the same time last year¹.

EMPHN CEO, Robin Whyte, said our research found 57 percent of respondents² would or did go to emergency departments because the illness was 'believed to be an emergency', however hospital data³ shows around 50 percent of people that presented to emergency in 2015-16 had only semi-urgent and non-urgent conditions.

"When someone is unwell or caring for a sick person it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do, particularly in the after hours when their regular general practice may be closed,” Ms Whyte said.

"We are urging the community that if they're unsure if the situation is an emergency, to contact NURSE-ON-CALL for free and immediate health advice as well as peace of mind from wherever you are, and keep the emergency department for emergencies.”

"NURSE-ON-CALL has registered nurses to help around the clock to provide advice on the best course of action, including ways you can care for yourself or someone you care for, details of health services available in your area or they can transfer you to 000 in the case of an emergency.”

For immediate, 24/7 health advice, call NURSE-ON-CALL: 1300 60 60 24.

View the ‘Be Sure, with immediate health advice’ animated video.

Eastern Melbourne PHN is supported by funding from the Commonwealth Government under the PHN Program. EMPHN works to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for people in the eastern and north-eastern areas of Melbourne, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes, to improve coordination of care and ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time. EMPHN works across an area of 3,956 km² comprising a population of more than 1.5 million people.


² EMPHN After Hours Campaign Research, August 2016 (n = 530)