23 December 2014

​NSW Health is urging families to save a 24-hour health advice number into their phones and be up to date with medical prescriptions before heading off on holidays this Christmas.

NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said it was essential to prepare for the family’s potential health needs during the festive season, to reduce stress and inconvenience should concerns arise.

“Just as you ensure your car is serviced and mechanically sound for a road trip, make sure your family’s medications, prescriptions and first aid kits are also in order before setting off,” Dr Chant said.

“Most importantly, save the healthdirect Australia helpline, 1800 022 222, into your phones, so you can seek help immediately if a member of your family falls ill.

“By calling the healthdirect Australia helpline, parents can receive health advice from registered nurses on the line, at any time of day or night.”

Dr Chant stressed that in the case of a health emergency, people should call Triple Zero (000) but for other health concerns healthdirect Australia was the best source of assistance.

“healthdirect Australia is an excellent service which reassures and supports families and enables them to receive appropriate medical advice during the Christmas break. Those requiring follow up treatment are advised where and when they can seek help.”

Dr Chant said Emergency Departments could be visited if immediate medical attention was required for urgent, unexpected conditions.

“Emergency Departments will remain open 24 hours, seven days a week over the Christmas and New Year period – to assist with urgent medical conditions,” Dr Chant said. 

healthdirect Australia is not an emergency service. People with a health emergency should still ring Triple Zero (000).