Health isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind for most people when planning a holiday, but it’s important to take some time to consider it before Christmas.
Depending on your GP they may be closed over the Christmas period, so where do you go for help if something unexpected comes up?
You can call Healthdirect, go to a pharmacy or if the matter is urgent call 000 or go to the hospital.
Healthdirect is a national government-owned, not-for-profit organisation. Calls are free from landlines but charges might apply from mobiles. Call 1800 022 222 or go to the website.
A pharmacy or chemist can help for minor issues like a sore throat or runny nose but intense pain or illness should be taken seriously – call ambulance or go to hospital.
GP Dr Jill Gamberg said planning is vital to having a safe and relaxing holiday.
“Look online and see if your own GP is open during the holidays as some are,” Dr Gamberg said.
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“There’s a hotline, Healthdirect, where you can’t get medical advice from nurses and they can tell you if you should go to a pharmacy, doctors or go to the emergency department.
“Don’t go to the pharmacy if you’re really unwell but if you’re just a little sick it’s a good place to start.”
If you’re traveling in Australia or overseas it’s a good idea to plan first.
“Make sure you bring your tablets with you as you can’t use every script in all different states if you’re travelling,” Dr Gamberg said.
“If you have a complicated history bring that with you, like a summary from your GP.
“If you’re going overseas talk to your GP about the risks and what immunisations you’ll need.”
Make sure you do some research on the area you’re visiting so you know where the nearest medical help is and the risks are..
“You should know the area you're going to and know the dangers,” Dr Gamberg said.
“If you’re going to the outback do you know what to do if you’re bitten by a snake or a spider?
“And do you know your closest help will be?
“Planning makes it more likely you’ll have a good time and not worry about little things if they do happen.”