Your Health Options

Helping you choose the right care

Do you know how to find the best health care for your symptoms?

If you need medical help, there are a range of convenient, affordable and accessible services near you that don’t involve a trip to a hospital emergency department. Many of these are free and available after hours.

Knowing when and where to go means you will get the most appropriate health care for your symptoms, and may save you time.

Read about your health options below, and download the Your Health Options fridge flyer or Your Health Options poster so you have them handy when you need medical advice or care after hours.

Parents can also download the Your baby or toddler’s health options flyer.

When to see your GP or an after hours GP service

GPs provide immediate short-term care and also complex long-term care.

Your GP is the best person to see for treatment of conditions and symptoms such as:

  • headaches/migraines
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • colds and flu
  • sore throat
  • backache
  • earache
  • mental health.

Your GP can and will refer you to other services if necessary, but they can usually provide all that you need in their surgery.

GPs are very good at helping you understand your health over time. Having a long term relationship with your GP is good for your preventive, mental and physical health.

If you don’t have a GP you know and like, you can find one using find-a-health service.

After hours GP care

Many GP clinics offer extended opening hours in the evenings and on weekends. Check your GP’s opening hours, or search for an after hours clinic near you using find-a-heath service.


If you can’t see your regular GP you can contact CALMS, the Canberra Afterhours Locum Medical Service, to see one of their GPs.

CALMS clinics are open after hours on weekdays and weekends. A fee applies for consultations.

To make an appointment, call 1300 422 567 (1300 4 CALMS), or go to for more information including locations and operating hours.

National Home Doctor Service

The National Home Doctor Service provides after hours, bulk billed, doctor home visits and services most Canberra suburbs.

To request a visit, call 13 7425 (13 SICK), or go to for more information.

When to visit a Walk-in Centre

Walk-in Centres provide free, one-off treatment of non-life threatening injury and illness, such as:

  • sprains and fractures
  • minor infections
  • cuts and wounds
  • bites and stings.

Walk-in Centres are a great choice for after hours care of non-life threatening injury and illness. They are open from 7.30am to 10pm, every day of the year.

They are staffed by highly skilled nurses who can provide you with a sick certificate and in some cases, medication, saving you time and money.

The service is free and no appointments are necessary.

Walk-in Centres are located in Tuggeranong, Belconnen, Gungahlin, Dickson and Weston Creek. Find out more by going to

Children under 2 years and people with complex or serious conditions should see their GP.

When to call healthdirect

​If you feel unwell, but aren’t sure what to do, you can call healthdirect for advice.

Healthdirect is staffed by registered nurses who can provide you with information on the type of treatment you need, or refer you to a GP or the emergency department if they believe you have a serious medical condition.

Healthdirect is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call them on 1800 022 222, or go to

When to go to the emergency department

Our emergency departments are for emergencies.

If you or someone you’re caring for has an immediate life threatening condition, you should call 000 or go to the emergency department right away. Examples of immediate life-threatening conditions include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain
  • severe trauma
  • allergic reactions
  • head, neck or eye injuries.
Page last updated on: 25 Aug 2021