Be prepared to avoid emergency and stay well these holidays

18 December 2023

With the holiday season almost here, COORDINARE has joined with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and Southern NSW Local Health District to encourage people to be prepared this summer period and to check their local urgent care options before heading to emergency.

COORDINARE's CEO Prudence Buist said: “If you or someone you know is unwell over the holidays, ask yourself: ‘Is my urgency an emergency?’ There are plenty of health care options for unexpected medical issues like sunburn, minor cuts or toothaches which don’t require a trip to the hospital emergency department.”

“Urgent care is now available in a number of locations across the region every day of the week, including on public holidays, for urgent but non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses like fractures, dislocations, non-venomous bites, wounds, minor burns, and cuts requiring stitches.”

Walk in urgent care is available from 8am to 8pm in the Illawarra and from 8am to 6pm in Batemans Bay with new services open in time for the holiday season to relieve the pressure on hospital emergency departments.

“If you are unsure if your health need is urgent, you can call Healthdirect and you will be directed to the appropriate health service,” she said.

Ms Buist added: "If you’re at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and are eligible for antivirals, speak to your doctor or nurse practitioner before the holiday season about how you would access these medicines. If you test positive for COVID-19 you will need to speak with a doctor to get a prescription and access the tablets or capsules from your nearest pharmacy within the first five days of symptoms.”

"Getting prepared before the holiday season could be as simple as checking you have enough medication or medical supplies available, or you have adequate repeat prescription to cover the holidays and normal business closures."

“Make sure you have supplies such as first aid kit and a health action plan with a list of important health phone numbers handy, this could help you save time and avoid unnecessary stress if you do have a health need,” she said.

Who to contact:

  • Call the Healthdirect hotline to speak to a registered nurse on 1800 022 222.
  • Contact your nearest general practice or urgent care provider (details at or Radio Doctor Illawarra on 4228 5522 (Scarborough to Shell Cove).
  • Visit a nearby pharmacist.
  • Call 000 in a medical emergency.
  • Attend the nearest emergency department for a serious illness or injury.

Media release