Millions of Australians visit a hospital emergency department every year. When faced with illness or injury, it can be difficult to decide what to do next. Sometimes going to hospital can feel like the best option but there are other options available that may be better suited to your circumstances.
With COVID-19 still on our radars, determining whether or not you need to rush to a hospital or visit a GP can feel overwhelming. This article provides you with resources to help you make an informed decision.
Most non-urgent conditions can be treated by your local GP. Minor injury and illnesses can include:
- Earaches and toothaches
- Minor cuts or burns
- Rashes or infections
- Strains or sprains
- Coughs, colds and flus
If your GP is unavailable or you need assistance locating one, you can use HealthDirect’s Find a Doctor service.
Recognising an Emergency
If you suspect your sickness or injury is serious, waste no time and call Triple Zero (000). Serious symptoms can include, but are not limited to:
- Chest pains
- Difficulty breathing or gasping for breath
- Severely ill children
- Severe burns or bleeding
- Pregnancy complications
- Sudden inability to move or speak
With COVID-19 restrictions easing, Queensland families still need to take care of their health by socially distancing and practising good hygiene. If you’re concerned that you might be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, visit HealthDirect’s Coronavirus Symptom Checker.
If, after answering HealthDirect’s questions, you suspect you have COVID-19 symptoms, and you’re having difficulty breathing, phone Triple Zero (000) immediately.
Knowing Where to Go
Your health and wellness are a priority but attending the hospital emergency department is not always the best option. In fact, there are many health services available for sickness and injury when it’s not urgent. Use the Right Place Right Time website to guide you to the appropriate course of action. You can check your symptoms with the HealthDirect Symptom Checker, call 13-HEALTH for advice or book an appointment with your local GP. If you don’t have your own GP or it’s after-hours, you can use HealthDirect’s find a doctor to find a clinic open near you.
Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health to improve health outcomes of the region. This website has been created to assist you with learning more about your options before heading to a hospital emergency department.