Minimising Emergency Department Visits: Know the Health Services Closer to Your Home

Know the Health Services Closer to Your Home

Hi, I’m Arthur, co-founder of VIVA Mutual. I’ve seen firsthand the amazing work done in our hospitals here in South Australia. They’re incredible places full of highly skilled professionals performing miracles every day. But sometimes, we can avoid the stress and long waits of emergency departments by using other health services closer to home. 

I’ve been there myself, both for personal reasons and supporting family members, especially my dear mother with her chronic disease. This experience makes me realise we have many alternatives that can help us before we need to rush to the hospital.

Here are some options to consider:

Create a Health Emergency Plan

If you experience chest pains or other severe symptoms, always call 000 for an ambulance.

Just like having a bushfire plan and preparing for other “unexpected events” (I recommend you read VIVA Mutual’s article on “Preparing for an Emergency”, having a health emergency plan can make a big difference. Gather phone numbers of your health professionals and keep your health records handy, including details of your medications. This way, you can quickly communicate with healthcare professionals if an emergency arises.

Local GP Practices

Your local GP should be your first point of contact. Many practices have appointments set aside for urgent situations. Telehealth services are also available if you can’t visit in person. They’re a great option, especially for vulnerable community members.


Pharmacies offer more services now than ever before. From wound care to flu advice, they can help with many minor health issues. Plus, there are 24-hour pharmacies available across South Australia for your medication needs at any time.

Urgent Care Centres

Thanks to federal initiatives, we now have Urgent Care Centres that can handle many conditions without the need to visit a hospital. They can triage and manage a range of health issues quickly and effectively.

Health Direct

 This 24/7 service provides access to experienced nurses and an online symptom checker. It helps you decide if you need to see a doctor or if you can manage your condition at home.

NDIS and My Aged Care Providers

If you’re on the NDIS or My Aged Care, talk to your provider about your health conditions. They can assist you in accessing the services you need and help build relationships with your healthcare team for better support.

Remember, if you experience chest pains or other severe symptoms, always call 000 for an ambulance.

By knowing and using these services, we can keep our hospitals available for those who require them the most and get the care we require quickly and efficiently.

By preparing a health emergency plan, you ensure that you and your loved ones are ready for any situation. It’s simple to do and can make a huge difference.

In my own experience caring for my mother, having a plan made everything smoother and less stressful. Hospitals are vital, and by using local services, we can keep them free for those who require them most.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found my thoughts and experience to be of value to you and those you support.

Bookmark and follow our VIVA Mutual News on our website and learn How to Prepare an Emergency Plan. And as always, drop me a line via if you have any questions about me, my interests, VIVA Mutual’s services or… anything!

‘Til next time, please stay prepared and stay healthy.

Arthur Mitsioulis

I’m a passionate advocate for health & wellbeing

Co-Founder and Executive Director | VIVA Mutual

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