Getting urgent medical help

Find out how to get help in a medical emergency and how to be prepared.

If someone’s life is in immediate danger call 000 or visit a hospital emergency department.

Call an ambulance

In a medical emergency, call 000 and ask for an ambulance.

Calling 000 could mean the difference between life and death. Triple zero call takers are trained to help and will send an ambulance or direct you to the appropriate resources.

An immediate life threatening emergency needing an ambulance may include when someone:

  • is having difficulty breathing
  • is bleeding severely
  • has collapsed or is unconscious
  • has a seizure
  • is turning blue in the lips or face
  • is becoming agitated, confused or very drowsy
  • is having a severe mental health episode
  • is having chest pain or chest tightness
  • experiences sudden weakness, numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg
  • has severe burns or large burns
  • is in a serious accident or trauma event
  • is in extreme pain.

If you are facing one of these emergencies now, stop reading and call 000 immediately.

Go to a hospital emergency department

Go to a hospital emergency department if you need urgent medical attention. Hospital emergency departments provide 24 hour emergency care.

You should only go to an emergency department if you’re badly hurt or sick, you can see a general practitioner for other health issues.

To find the closest emergency department to you, use find a health service on the healthdirect website.

Help after hours or if you’re in a rural or remote location

There are medical services you can access after hours or if you are in a remote location.

After hours health care

An after hours health service may be able to help if you become unwell when your doctor or other health service is closed, and it isn’t an emergency.

If you’re not sure what to do, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 for advice. This is known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria. You can call this number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can find the closest doctor, pharmacy or other health service using the find a health service tool on the healthdirect website.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service

The Royal Flying Doctor Service may be able to help if you live very far from a hospital emergency department and need urgent medical attention. Find the emergency contact information for the Royal Flying Doctor Services in your location on the Royal Flying Doctor Service website.

Being prepared for a medical emergency

There are resources available to help you and your family be prepared for a medical emergency. These links will take you away from myGov.

Page last updated: 23 August 2023