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Flu season drives demand for emergency care: where to get help

The community is being urged to contact Healthdirect for advice if they are experiencing non-life-threatening medical issues such as influenza.
COVID and RSV cases continue to rise placing significant pressure on NSW public hospital emergency departments (EDs) and NSW Ambulance.
Minister for Health, Ryan Park, said people who are unsure of where to get the help they need can call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to speak with a registered nurse about their condition or injury.
When phoning Healthdirect, patients are triaged by a nurse who can then refer them to a GP, virtual or urgent care; a pharmacist or allied health professional; or provide guidance on how to care for their condition from home.
Healthdirect is available 24/7 and consultations are free for Medicare card holders.
Almost 180,000 people are expected to be able to avoid a trip to busy EDs each year with the $171.4 million expansion of the services accessed via Healthdirect through the Single Front Door initiative announced in the 2024-25 NSW State Budget.
Health Minister Ryan Park has also reiterated that the best way to protect ourselves from serious illness and reduce the pressure on frontline healthcare workers this winter is to ensure you are up do date with your vaccinations.
People who are at higher risk of severe illness from influenza who are eligible for free vaccination include:
People aged 65 years and over.
Children aged six months to under five years.
Aboriginal people from six months of age.
Pregnant women.
People with serious health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, severe asthma, kidney, heart, and lung disease.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Access News is a print and digital media publisher established over 15 years and based in Western Sydney, Australia. Our newspaper titles include the flagship publication, Western Sydney Express, which is a trusted source of information and for hundreds of thousands of decision makers, businesspeople and residents looking for insights into the people, projects, opportunities and networks that shape Australia's fastest growing region - Greater Western Sydney.