There are online services available for non-life threatening emergencies, as well as telephone helplines available for non-urgent medical advice and mental health crisis support.

Should I go to Emergency?

If you're not sure whether your situation is an emergency:

Victorian Virtual Emergency Department

The Victorian Virtual Emergency Department is a free public health service for treating non-life-threatening emergencies.

Access emergency care from anywhere in Victoria, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You do not require a Medicare card to use this service.

After-hours doctor services

National Home Doctor

National Home Doctor provides after-hours, bulk-billed home visits from a doctor. Call 13 SICK.


DoctorDoctor is a bulk-billed Medicare after-hours medical service providing telehealth and home visits.


Access online doctors’ appointments, prescriptions and other services via Medmate.

Contact Nurse on Call

NURSE-ON-CALL (1300 606 024) is a Victorian phone service providing immediate, expert advice from a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This service is best where:

  • You or someone you care for is feeling unwell
  • You are not sure if you should seek medical help
  • You are physically a long way away from medical help
  • You need advice about health services in your local area

Call a telephone helpline

There are many telephone helplines available for non-urgent medical advice or mental health crisis support. These are generally free or provided at the cost of a local call (some charges may apply to mobile users).

Health lines


For information on prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines

Victorian Poisons Information Centre

In the case of a poisoning incident, the Victorian Poisons Information Centre can advise you what first aid is required, whether it is necessary to call an ambulance, to go to the doctor or whether nothing needs to be done. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mental health lines

Crisis support (24/7)
General support and counselling
Drug and alcohol support
Domestic and sexual violence support
Youth support
LGBTQIA+ support
Perinatal support
When to call Triple Zero (000)

Call Triple Zero (000) if you or another person is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Central or crushing chest pain lasting more than 10 minutes
  • Unconsciousness or a seizure (fit)
  • Severe difficulty breathing or turning blue
  • Severe bleeding or inability to control bleeding with pressure
  • Sudden inability to move or speak, or sudden facial drooping
  • The effects of a severe accident

For other symptoms, or if you're not sure, use Healthdirect's online symptom checker, or call NURSE-ON-CALL.

Last updated 14 May 2024