Call to return after-hours hotline to regions

Since July 2011, healthdirect Australia, owned by insurer Medi-bank’s healthcare arm Medibank Health Solutions, has had the federal government contract to run an after-hours triage hotline that refers patients to a local GP if deemed necessary.

The service was generally well received as a way to fill gaps in after-hours care, but some established regional call centres campaigned to keep their existing business model and were forced to route calls via healthdirect.

Last week, Hunter Medicare Local confirmed reports that patients using its