Accessing the right medical treatment at the right time

Ally Pope, Engagement Manager of Amplar Health, and Casey Shorter, Macksville Medical Centre Practice Manager.

MACKSVILLE Medical Centre is proud to be part of North Coast Health Connect (NCHC), a free health service rolled out earlier this year to connect locals with the right medical treatment at the right time, aimed at freeing up emergency departments for people in need.

North Coast Health Connect (NCHC) provides free 24/7 advice from a trained nurse by phone or live chat for anyone with a health concern.

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“If you have a health concern that you need advice for or need addressed quickly you can call North Coast Health Connect at any time of the day or night for free advice,” said Ally Pope, Engagement Manager of Amplar Health, who is delivering this program.

Ally, who has over 35 years’ experience as a registered nurse, including triage work, advises you can phone for any health concerns.

“Whether it’s your baby unable to settle at 3am, or you have concerns of a persistent headache, we will try and navigate you to the right solution, at the right time, including booking you into a GP appointment within two hours.

“You can speak to a qualified nurse who will offer advice on what to do with your health inquiry, and if you require treatment, they will connect you with the appropriate health care provider, a pharmacist or directly book you an appointment with a local GP.

“I believe we’re the only organisation in Australia that has nurses, who are able to book local GP appointments directly for you,” she added.

This pilot program is funded by Healthy North Coast and delivered by Amplar Health in partnership with participating pharmacies, hospitals and general practices between Laurieton and Tweed Heads.

“Accessing appropriate healthcare when it is needed can be challenging in our region,” said Casey Shorter, Practice Manager at the Macksville Medical Centre, which is a participating GP provider in the NCHC program in the Nambucca Valley.

“With just one phone call, patients are triaged by a registered nurse, and if they are assessed as needing to see a doctor, they can be provided a bulk-billed appointment with a GP at Macksville Medical Centre.

“By utilising the service, you could avoid an unnecessary trip to the emergency department.”

Anyone with a health concern can call North Coast Health Connect at any time on 1800 198 888 or live chat at

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