WA Health system

Health care options

Your symptoms won’t tell you where to go, but it’s good to know you have health care options.

If you or someone in your care is injured or unwell and you’re not sure if it’s an emergency always speak to a qualified health professional as soon as possible.

Many Western Australians visit emergency departments for non-emergency related issues however, emergency departments are not the best place to be treated or recuperate.

Do you know what health care options are available?


Self-care at home is the best option for minor illness or injury which may include:

  • minor cuts and grazes
  • muscle aches
  • hangover
  • coughs and colds.

Find out how to take care of yourself at home.


Your local pharmacy or chemist can offer advice on minor illness without the need to book an appointment. You can receive advice from a pharmacist if you have the following symptoms:

  • coughs and colds
  • sore throats
  • general aches / pains.

Pharmacies can also offer services such as dispensing prescription medicines and emergency contraception.

Find out how your local pharmacist or chemist can help.


If you are unsure what to do call healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222 for 24-hour free health advice.

Find out more (external site).


GPs, commonly known as a family doctor, care for patients of all ages and advise on health issues including illness, injury, mental health and healthy lifestyle tips. You may need to seek a GPs advice if you experience the following symptoms:

  • vomiting
  • persistent fever
  • chills
  • severe pain.

Your GP can also refer you to another doctor or health care professional for more specialised care if necessary.

Find out more about seeing a GP or view the list of after hours GP services.

Hospital emergency department

Emergency departments provide 24 hour emergency services for people who have had a serious accident or suddenly become ill and require urgent medical care.

Call 000 if you experience any of the following:

  • chest pain
  • heavy bleeding
  • trouble breathing
  • major burns.

Find out where the closest hospital emergency department and other emergency services are located.

Where to get help

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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