National Health Call Centre Network

The establishment of the National Health Call Centre Network is an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

Page last updated: 19 November 2014

Page last reviewed: 11 August 2014

Health call centres are an effective and popular way to provide the community with access to healthcare information and advice, without time or geographic restrictions. Good access to accurate information helps people to make informed decisions about their health care and can also improve confidence in the health system.

The network commenced delivering services in July 2007 under a single national name, healthdirect Australia, and national phone number - 1800 022 222.

Network services are currently being delivered to the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.

The network enables anyone, anywhere in Australia, to ring for health advice and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Registered nurses, supported by electronic decision support software and algorithms, provide safe and effective health triage, information and advice to callers. The network also provides access to accurate and reliable health care information online on the healthdirect website, and has the capacity to support add-on services and to assist in health threats and emergency situations.

The development of a nationally consistent approach to health call centres commenced in 2001 with the Australian Government and state and territory governments working collaboratively to achieve this goal. Top of page

In February 2006, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) signed a Heads of Agreement to establish the National Health Call Centre Network.

The Australian Government and the governments of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia have established National Health Call Centre Network Ltd. It is a private company limited by shares, which is responsible for contracting with service providers for the call centre's services and managing the network's operations. Queensland and Victoria have signalled an intent to join, but are yet to commit formally to the network.

The Australian Government Department of Health is providing ongoing national support and policy input to the network through the National Health Call Centre Network Team located within the Primary & Mental Health Care Division. The team is responsible for representing the Australian Government’s interest in the ongoing implementation of the network through joint working arrangements with the participating states and territories; and liaison with the company – the network's management vehicle.

For further information about the network write to us at:
National Health Call Centre Network Team
Primary & Mental Health Care Division
Australian Government Department of Health
MDP 1052, GPO Box 9848

Or call: (02) 6289 1555 and ask for Primary & Mental Health Care Division
For information about healthdirect Australia or to contact National Health Call Centre Network Ltd, visit the healthdirect website or email healthdirect.