The conversations of life

Healthdirect – choose local, not global for real help


Healthdirect is a free Australian government-subsidised service that anyone can contact for reliable health advice.

Every year, over six million Australians connected online plus over one million called their nurse hotline.

Around 40 per cent of Australians head online for health advice, but about 77 per cent of us end up on overseas websites such as the US-based Malo Clinic.

Launched in 2007, the website offers information about a range of health conditions and medicines, with links to over 160 leading Australian health organisations.

They also have a free online Symptom Checker that lets you put in your symptoms and offers advice on what action to take next. I tried it and it works really well.

Talk to a health professional

Maureen Robinson from Healthdirect Australia
Maureen Robinson from Healthdirect Australia

Prefer to pick up the phone? Their hotline lets you speak to a nurse who takes you through a series of questions who will then recommend advice to either care for yourself at home, see your GP the next day or seek hospital treatment.

This service includes a free after-hours GP helpline between 6pm and 8am so you can talk one-on-one with a GP when they would be otherwise unavailable.

Last Sunday Maureen Robinson from Healthdirect Australia joined Annie and Jill on their radio show. She tells us the service saves lives too.

In one case, a woman rang with a sore jaw expecting to be referred to a dentist.

Instead, the nurse determined she was likely having a heart attack. She was sent off to an emergency, an action that saved her life.

You can call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or use their free online Symptom Checker here.

If you have any health concerns, see your GP.

You can hear the podcast of our interview with Maureen below.


Maureen Robinson from Health Direct Australia – 26.03.17

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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