Your Healthcare Journey

You are the centre of your healthcare journey

You are the best person to be in charge of your own health.

Taking charge of your health is the first step in making more informed decisions, both on your own and with your health providers about your health and healthcare.

There are many ways you can take charge of your health including:

  • Finding a regular GP, attending regular check-ups and building a relationship with your GP
  • Knowing your and your family’s medical history
  • Knowing which medications you are taking – name, dose, time of day, etc.
  • Knowing how to access the right health care at the right time, for example, knowing how to access after hours GP services so people with non-urgent illnesses don’t clog up hospital Emergency Departments
  • Attending and being prepared for your appointment with questions written down if necessary
  • Knowing your rights and knowing you can ask for things to be explained differently if you are unsure, and knowing you can speak up if you are unhappy
  • Understanding that all GP visits are different and your GP may refer you for more tests and to see a specialist. With some illnesses you may be given a prescription and sometimes you may leave the consultation with just some advice or a suggestion to return at a later time
  • Knowing you can ask for a longer consult and where to go to find information about health, from the internet, from brochures at your general practice surgery or from trusted sources such as Your Health Your Time Your Way and

At South Western Sydney PHN we are committed to empowering our community and their families with the tools they need to make more informed health decisions.

Know Your Medical History

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Make the GP Part of Your Family

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After Hours Medical Help

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Do you need more critical care?

A GP or after hours medical service should be your first point of contact for medical assistance, not the hospital emergency department (ED) unless you have a life-threatening emergency.

An emergency department is there to treat people with life threatening needs. Even with minor ailments, you won’t be refused care at the ED but if you have a less severe illness or injury you will have to wait longer, typically 3-5 hours.


Going to your own doctor or using other medical services after hours takes pressure off the ED and allows staff to care for people who may be critically injured or have a life-threatening condition.

In South Western Sydney, if you call an ambulance you may not automatically be taken to the ED and you could be treated by your own GP. Under the NSW Ambulance Low Acuity Project, paramedics are trained to assess a patient’s condition and have them treated in the most appropriate setting.