Be prepared to get the right health care these holidays

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As we approach the holiday season, COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW is raising awareness of the after hours medical options available within the region, to avoid unnecessary visits to hospital emergency departments.

Dianne Kitcher, CEO of COORDINARE said the campaign is aimed at local residents as well as visitors to the region.

“Unfortunately, we see a lot of people present to our local hospital emergency departments (EDs) during the after-hours period with issues or conditions which could have been seen by a GP or a pharmacist,” said Ms Kitcher.

“We’re encouraging people to plan ahead remain vigilant in managing their personal health and that of their family,” she added.

“To prepare for the holiday period you could check you have adequate medication, medical equipment supplies and repeat prescription to cover the holidays and normal business closures as well as considering the range of health care options for unexpected medical issues that don’t involve a trip to the hospital emergency department. 

Ms Kitcher said that preparation for these holidays should include planning the most direct route home if you are driving, knowing where to get tested and getting tested before you leave, as well as ensuring you have enough fuel, food and water for the journey home.

"It remains vital that anyone who has any symptoms or is a close or casual contact of a person with COVID-19 isolates and is tested immediately. If you are identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case while on holidays and you need to return home to isolate, it is important to travel safely and directly according to NSW Health advice."

"While being vaccinated against COVID-19 will likely lessen the symptoms of the disease and potentially protect you from hospital admission, it does not always completely prevent you from contracting and spreading the virus. Take precautions, wear masks when indoors and where social distancing is not possible and keep up good hand hygiene,” said Ms Kitcher.

To find a testing clinic near you search
After hours medical options are as follows:
  • Visit for details of after hours for general practices or pharmacies
  • Call Radio Doctor Illawarra on 4228 5522 (if located between Scarborough and Shell Cove)
  • Call the after hours GP helpline (1800 022 222) for medical advice and support
  • Call 000 in a medical emergency or attend your nearest emergency department for a serious illness or injury.
  • For more information go to