North Coast Health Connect – a new front door to local healthcare

Residents living in Port Macquarie area postcodes will be the first to benefit from a free new service that aims to improve access to local healthcare.

Launching today and delivered by Amplar Health, North Coast Health Connect, offers a free 1800 phone number or live web chat for residents to speak with a registered nurse any time of the day or night, including public holidays.

Funded by Healthy North Coast through the North Coast PHN program and delivered by experienced Amplar registered nurses, the new service ensures urgent health concerns can be assessed quickly and confidentially by a trusted health professional. If needed, residents can be connected with a local service or a virtual care appointment.

Amplar Health Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Wilson, said the Amplar team is thrilled to be selected to deliver the North Coast Health Connect service, as improving primary care access is a key element to ensuring the sustainability of healthcare in Australia.

“We look forward to providing our digital and clinical expertise to deliver a service for Healthy North Coast that increases access, choice and control for the local community,” Dr Wilson said.

Healthy North Coast’s Acting Chief Executive Monika Wheeler said the service opens a new front door to local health care, including urgent care, for those unsure about the next step, helping to ease pressure on hospital resources.

‘We understand when there is a health urgency it’s important to get advice quickly no matter the time of day. North Coast Health Connect nurses will assess your symptoms and provide on-the-spot advice,’ said Ms Wheeler.

‘Most people don’t want to go to a hospital emergency department if they can avoid it, but it can be hard to get a GP appointment in some areas. Medical issues also often strike after hours when local services are closed.

‘North Coast Health Connect offers an alternative, with nurses on-call around the clock, ready to listen to your health concerns and connect you to the right level of care at the right time, including bookings with a local GP or pharmacist,’ said Ms Wheeler.

Ms Wheeler said the need to see a GP face-to-face for some health concerns will never change and North Coast Health Connect is supported by participating local general practices who have made appointments available specifically for users of the North Coast Health Connect service. Local pharmacists have also signed up to make consultations available.

Mid North Coast Local Health District Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick said he fully supported this new and innovative model and will be promoting North Coast Health Connect through the Mid North Coast hospital system.

‘It’s up to all of us to make the best possible use of our hospital resources and keep our emergency departments for emergencies,’ said Mr Dowrick.

‘For those who may have been struggling to access the health system, North Coast Health Connect is a direct line to a qualified and trusted health professional, rather than facing a long wait in a busy ED, ‘ Mr Dowrick said.

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim applauded Healthy North Coast for their innovation in a health system under increasing stress. ‘The Australian health system is under enormous pressure, and there is an important role for pharmacists to play in supporting patients with non-urgent health care needs, Dr Sim said.

‘Services like North Coast Health Connect that connect patients with an appropriate healthcare profession – whether it be a GP, a pharmacist, or another health professional – are vital to ensuring our health system efficiently utilises all resources,’ said Dr Sim.

Ms Wheeler said North Coast Health Connect delivers on what the North Coast community asked for – being able to speak to a health expert for free over a convenient and confidential 24/7 channel with connections to the next level of local health care.

‘We are excited to see Port Macquarie residents be the first to get on board. We encourage you to speak with a North Coast Health Connect nurse on 1800 198 888 or live chat at next time you have an urgent health issue,’ said Ms Wheeler.

Healthy North Coast is planning to make North Coast Health Connect available to all North Coast residents in early 2023.

North Coast Health Connect will also be evaluated by world-leading medical research centre, The George Institute for Global Health, over the next five years.

To find out more about North Coast Health Connect, visit

North Coast Health Connect is funded by Healthy North Coast through the North Coast PHN Program and delivered by Amplar Health (a business of Medibank Health Solutions Pty Ltd ABN 99 078 934 791), supported by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. The service will be evaluated by The George Institute.

Latest report reveals a solution to stretched healthcare system


Amplar Health is part of the Medibank group. This media release was originally posted on the Medibank website. This is an excerpt only and the full release can be viewed here.

  • Short stay pilot program reduced length of hospital stay by 50 per cent for hip and knee replacements*
  • Broad adoption of the short stay program across the health system could save 217,000 bed days in 2030
  • 78 per cent of surveyed participants were favourable toward the short stay model of care

Medibank and KPMG have found that a short stay in hospital program, accompanied by at home care, could significantly reduce the burden on the stretched healthcare system struggling to cope with the backlog of elective surgery patients in the public system.

Consulting Economist to KPMG Craig Emerson said the report, commissioned by Medibank, found that a short stay model would significantly reduce pressure on hospitals.

Continue reading here.

*For low complexity patients

New telepsych clinic pilot to give Australians faster access to vital mental health services

Amplar Health is part of the Medibank group. This media release was originally posted on the Medibank website. This is an excerpt only and the full release can be viewed here.

Medibank has partnered with Myhealth and Medinet to increase access to vital mental health services, launching a telepsychology clinic pilot that aims to reduce wait times from up to 3 months to just 2 weeks.

Anyone over the age of 18 can access online psychology consultations by visiting one of the Myhealth GP clinics in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane participating in the pilot to get a referral, if deemed appropriate by the GP.

The telepsych clinic will provide virtual consultations and an innovative digital and phone concierge service to manage all aspects of the referral, booking and Medicare claims process along with feedback to the referring GP. Patients can also choose to see an accredited mental health social worker for specialist support.

Continue reading here.

Medibank invests $10 million in health tech company Medinet

Amplar Health is part of the Medibank group. This media release was originally posted on the Medibank website. This is an excerpt only and the full release can be viewed here.

Medibank has invested $10 million in health tech company Medinet to support the growing role of virtual health in Australia – part of its strategy to drive better health outcomes by supporting more preventative and integrated care.

The award-winning digital platform was launched in 2019 and is already being used by a number of GP clinics in Australia. Using Medinet’s MyPractice app, GPs can offer consults with their patients over video, audio and chat, and generate digital referrals to specialists, pathology and imaging.

An average of 10,000 users a day currently pass through the app, which is among the top 5 most downloaded healthcare apps in Australia. The investment will enable Medinet to further develop and scale its technology and operational capability to provide more services to more GPs and their patients.

Continue reading here.

Calvary-Medibank using AI and remote monitoring to support more than 130,000 COVID patients so far

Amplar Health is part of the Medibank group. This media release was originally posted on the Medibank website. This is an excerpt only and the full release can be viewed here.

Remote monitoring and artificial intelligence (AI) are being used by Medibank and Calvary to support local health authorities manage COVID cases across the country.

Both technology solutions used by the Calvary-Medibank joint venture are designed to take pressure off the health system so that hospitals and health services can look after patients in need of higher levels of care. The joint venture has supported more than 130,000 people in the community to date.

Medibank Group Executive CEO Health Services Dr Andrew Wilson says technology can add capacity back into a health system that is feeling the pressure from the exponential increase in COVID cases across the nation.

Continue reading here.

How Medibank’s health professionals are supporting the COVID-19 national response

Amplar Health employs health professionals as part of the Medibank group. This media release was originally posted on the Medibank newsroom and can be viewed in full here.

By leveraging its team of 1,500 health professionals across Australia, Medibank has been instrumental in delivering large-scale COVID-19 telehealth services, as well as supporting two state governments with the second outbreak.

Medibank’s telehealth business is working alongside clients – including government and not-for-profit organisations – helping them bolster their existing helplines and providing new COVID-19 services. These include telephone nurse triage, mental health counselling, coordinating in-home COVID-19 testing and welfare checks for the elderly and vulnerable.

Last year, Medibank’s team of nurses, GPs, counsellors and mental health professionals handled more than 2 million telehealth interactions. This was before the onset of the Australian bushfires and COVID-19.

Continue reading here.

Calvary and Medibank selected as the provider to jointly deliver ‘My Home Hospital’ in South Australia

Amplar Health is part of the Medibank group. This media release was originally posted on the Medibank website. This is an excerpt only and the full release can be viewed here.

More South Australians are now one step closer to having their hospital care delivered in the comfort of their own home, with the Calvary-Medibank joint venture appointed as the service provider for the new My Home Hospital program.

Commencing later this year, My Home Hospital will deliver acute medical care in the home across the metropolitan and outer suburbs of Adelaide, giving eligible public patients greater choice and convenience.

Wellbeing SA Chief Executive Lyn Dean said My Home Hospital will allow suitable patients to be cared for in a familiar home environment where they can sleep in their own bed, and be surrounded by their loved ones, whilst accessing the same care and support they would receive in a hospital.

Continue reading here.

Media Release

Quality care delivered outside of hospital: new data on the Medibank at Home program

Amplar Health is part of the Medibank group. This media release was originally posted on the Medibank website. This is an excerpt only and the full release can be viewed here.

The number of dialysis at home services provided to Medibank customers has increased by 88%, with a 77% spike in new enrolments since February, driven by the COVID-19 health emergency.

On any given weekday, around 45 Medibank customers are now receiving haemodialysis at home instead of hospital, representing the highest enrolments since the trial started two years ago.

There was also an 102% increase in Medibank customers receiving chemotherapy treatment and medical infusions at home between February and July 2020.

Continue reading here.