Preparing for Winter

Are you prepared for the Cold and Flu Season?

Winter brings about shorter days and colder temperatures and an increased risk of illness.  

This webpage will link you to:

  • Information on how to make a winter plan to prevent illness
  • Resources that outline how to minimise the risk of catching contagious respiratory illnesses like influenza (commonly known as the flu) 
  • Information about the difference between a cold or the flu
  • healthdirect symptom checker
  • Contact details of a 24 hour health advice and information service where you can speak to a Registered Nurse at healthdirect about any health concerns you may have
  • Information about the importance of seeking health advice and treatment for non-emergency care from your GP
  • healthdirect to ‘Find a Health Service’ in your local area
  • How to determine if your urgency is a health emergency and when to call an ambulance
  • Details about Emergency Departments and how patients are triaged should you need emergency care
  • Hospital parking information
  • Your Health Link: a website developed by the MNCLHD to provide the community with links to a broad range of health related information to support you and your family maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Make a Winter Wise Plan

Winter is a busy time for the health system with many people exposed to illnesses such as cold and flu. NSW Health is preparing for a potentially serious flu season and we urge the community to do the same by being winter wise. Visit the NSW Health ‘Winter Wise’ webpage for more information by clicking here.

Take steps to protect yourself and your family from colds and flu this season

An annual flu shot is your best protection against influenza, visit the NSW Health website to find out about: 

  • Flu shots 
  • Precautions you should take 
  • Information for pregnant women, families, those who are medically at risk, Aboriginal people and young people.

Visit ‘Don’t Spread Flu’ by clicking here.

Is it a cold or the flu?

People often talk about colds and flu (influenza) but it’s important to realise colds and flu are different illnesses caused by different viruses. Visit the healthdirect website to find out more by clicking here.

Check your symptoms with the healthdirect app

The healthdirect app includes a Symptom Checker tool which guides you through a series of questions to help you make an informed decision about what to do next, whether it is self-care or seeing a health professional.

To find out more about the ‘healthdirect app’ visit the website by clicking here.

Speak to a Registered Nurse at healthdirect

To access 24 hour health advice and information speak to a Registered Nurse at healthdirect on 1800 022 222.  Please note: telephoning this number via a landline is free but mobile charges may apply.

Visiting a GP

Your local doctor or GP is your first point of contact for non-emergency and preventative medical care, GP’s provide a wide range of services and are there to help with a huge array of health issues including common colds, flus, infections and viruses. To find out more about what services a GP can provide click here.

Find a Health Service

The directory contains over 150,000 service listings across 300 service types and includes detailed information about their:

  • location, opening hours and contact details
  • languages spoken
  • eligibility criteria and payment options
  • appointment and accessibility options
  • referral criteria
  • service delivery methods such as online, phone, home visit and telehealth
  • after hours care information.

Visit the ‘Find a Health Service’ at healthdirect by clicking here.

Is Your Urgency an Emergency?

The Ambulance Service of NSW receives a wide range of calls for help from shortness of breath to broken fingers, coughs, colds and major trauma. The Is Your Urgency an Emergency? campaign urges Triple Zero (000) callers to trust the Ambulance Service  of NSW to get them the right care, using the resources available in the most appropriate way. That might be a single paramedic or a referral to a nurse at healthdirect Australia, a visit from the home doctor service, GP referral or a hospital transport when an emergency department can provide the most appropriate care.

Click here to find out more about ‘Is Your Urgency an Emergency?

Calling an Ambulance

Knowing how to call Triple Zero (000) in a medical emergency can be the difference between life and death.

If you are faced with a medical emergency, there are a few simple but important things you need to do. To find out more at Ambulance Service NSW visit the website by clicking here.

Going to your local Emergency Department

If you are seriously hurt or sick, you can go to a hospital emergency department for urgent treatment. Emergency departments are in many public hospitals across NSW and open 24 hours a day. 

Emergency medicine doctors and nurses specialise in treating patients who are suffering from a serious illness or injury that could get worse if not treated quickly. While emergency departments are open 24 hours a day and don’t require an appointment, minor illnesses or injuries are best treated by your local doctor or medical centre. 

To find out what happens in Emergency departments visit NSW Health by clicking here.

To find your nearest emergency department, visit Emergency Department waiting times.

Hospital Parking

Helping you to find parking information and directions to your local public hospital by clicking here.

Your Health Link

Your Health Link is your gateway to Australian health related websites and resources … hundreds of websites chosen by health professionals.

The site is designed for consumers, health professionals, students and teachers, linking you to information to support your health needs and broaden your knowledge on health-related topics. Visit the Your Health Link website by clicking here.