Preparing an after-hours back up plan

Preparing an after-hours back up plan

It’s important to have a plan in place if you become sick or injured outside of your normal GP’s surgery hours. We’ve all experienced those moments when we have injured ourselves or we are feeling quite unwell only to discover the doctor’s surgery is closed. You’re not sure if you can wait out the night until they re-open, but what can you do?  

Emergency Departments are not always the best option for people presenting with non-urgent conditions. Usually emergency departments are working at maximum capacity, they’re overcrowded and have very long wait times.   

Alternatively, Right Place Right Time is a service that will direct you to the most relevant medical advice. 

If you are seeking medical care for a minor injury or illness you will find it is easier and usually a lot quicker to speak to a nurse on 13HEALTH or see an after-hours doctor, instead of waiting for hours at a busy hospital. 

Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN’s Right Place Right Time website has information about what other services provide medical advice and treatment and what after-hours options are available if you’re sick or injured. 

Seeking effective treatment can be as simple as finding the closest general practice that's open, getting advice over the phone or contacting the local after-hours home visit doctor service. 

Access free medical advice 24/7 

Planning ahead 

It’s important to have a plan in place for when a medical situation crops up so you can feel confident you will be able to access the right treatment, in the right place. Tips for planning ahead include: 

  • Keep the contact details of your regular GP on your phone or where you can easily access it; 

  • Keep your Medicare card with you and make sure it’s up to date;  

  • If you need to visit the hospital, bring any current medication you are taking and its packaging with you; 

  • Have the phone number of a family member or friend as your emergency contact handy; 

  • Know your medical history, and keep any important documentation where it is easily accessible in your home; and 

  • Make an after-hours back up plan and keep details on your phone of general practices which offer after-hours and weekend services.  

For more information visit  


If you have a serious illness or accident or suspect a heart attack or stroke: 

Call 000 for an ambulance 

Major injuries, chest pains or life-threatening symptoms such as difficulty breathing and gasping for breath must be treated immediately.  


Right Place, Right Time is an Australian Government initiative.  If you would like more information on Suncare services please call our Customer Service Team on 1800 786 227.


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