A new way to access health care

North Coast Health Connect launched in December 2022 and is a new service designed in partnership with local community members and health service providers.

Our goal is to increase access to health services and make health care available for everyone in our region when and where they need it.

Healthy North Coast funds North Coast Health Connect through the Australian Government’s Primary Health Network (PHN) program. The nurse-led service is delivered by Amplar Health, one of Australia’s largest providers of online and telehealth services and supported by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. The service will be evaluated by The George Institute.


Please take a look at our FAQs below for more information. If you are a health professional, visit our dedicated page to find out more.

How was North Coast Health Connect designed?

North Coast Health Connect is the result of extensive consultation and co-design with local consumers, experts, service providers, and other key stakeholders.

During a 2021/2022 workshop series, these groups explored and evaluated new ideas for improving our region’s access to primary health care.

Participants living and working on the North Coast shared what they thought a better health system might look like for them.

The North Coast Health Connect service has been designed based on workshop feedback and prioritisation. Accessing and receiving health care over the phone and online was a key priority for our region.

Who will I talk to when I contact the service?

When you contact North Coast Health Connect, you will talk or chat with one of our registered nurses. Our nurses are experienced with delivering virtual care via telephone or digital chat. They can provide immediate health advice for a health issue you are worried about or connect you with the most appropriate service to help.

How does North Coast Health Connect work?

Firstly, you will speak with one of our on-call registered nurses via your choice of phone or private web chat. They will ask you some questions and advise on the best next steps for you. These may include:

  • self-care advice to allow you to manage your health (or that of a loved one) from home
  • connection to an appropriate health care provider, which may include an appointment with a GP (either face to face or virtually) or pharmacist
  • clinical advice to seek further assessment from or a connection with other high-quality services like the Poisons Information Centre, local midwife/obstetrician, mental health service provider, dental services, or sexual health services
  • urgent escalation to emergency services if required.

How can I check if I am in an eligible postcode?

You can search for your postcode using the postcode checker available on the home page.

What does the service cost?

North Coast Health Connect is a free service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including public holidays. You can access health support and advice from registered nurses anytime, free of charge.

In the case that our nurses advise that an appointment with a health care provider is recommended, we can book an appointment for you to attend at no cost with a participating GP or pharmacist. If you choose to arrange your own appointment, you will need to discuss costs with the health provider directly.

Will I be able to talk to a doctor?

Firstly, one of our nurses will assess your symptoms. If a GP appointment is needed, we can book you an appointment at a local general practice or, if appropriate, transfer you to GP telehealth appointment. Please be aware while we have access to GP appointments they are subject to availability.

Do I have to give my name and/or contact information?

No you don’t have to provide name/or contact information however it may limit the service we provide.

Are translation or interpreting services available?

Yes. If English is not your first language you can still use the service. Our registered nurses can organise an interpreter to join your call.

What do you mean by a front door to the health system?

North Coast Health Connect is the first place to connect to the care you need, when you need it, and in the way you choose. We can provide advice and referral to the service that you need. All via one access point, or ‘front door’.

How are quality and clinical safety ensured?

The quality and clinical safety of the North Coast Health Connect service is underpinned by Amplar Health’s Clinical Governance and Quality Management Framework. The framework places consumers at the centre of everything we do and seeks to ensure that care is consistently delivered at a high quality and meets the expectations of those receiving care. The framework aligns with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ASQHS) Primary Health Care (PHC) Standards.

Why should I contact North Coast Health Connect instead of going to the emergency department?

North Coast Health Connect is to help people with health symptoms or concerns find the right service. Our aim is to see our population and local health system thrive by ensuring people can access the right level of healthcare in the right timeframe.

We don’t replace emergency services – in an emergency or life-threatening situation you should always call 000. However, when needing urgent care, the hospital Emergency Department is not always the best option and can require long waits for non-life threatening medical issues. When you contact our service, our Registered Nurses will assess and triage you to help find the right health service. That might be the hospital, or it may be to see a GP or Pharmacist in a set timeframe (for example, within 2 hours). We can help with connecting you to the appropriate health care provider that you need and getting you an appointment in the right timeframe.