There are many things you can do to help others this winter, from basic hygiene etiquette through to being aware of your impact on the health system.

Emergency departments are for emergencies

Emergency departments at hospitals can get extremely busy, especially in winter. It’s a place where life and death situations are dealt with every day. For this reason, people are encouraged to remember that emergency departments are for emergencies.

So if you’ve got a cough or a cold and are thinking of heading to emergency, speak to your GP first. Alternatively you can call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to speak to a registered nurse about your symptoms. This service is free of charge and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If the situation is urgent or life threatening, you should call 000 immediately or go directly to an emergency department for assistance.

Save triple-zero (000) for saving lives

Know when to call triple-zero (000).

Flu doesn't spread itself

Page Updated: Friday 21 March 2014