Important information for released patients
Mental Health PH:1800 011 511
Integrated Care Service PH: 1800 880 894
Pharmacy Service PH: (02) 9700 3090
Public Dental Services - see below
Drug and Alcohol Service PH: (02) 9700 2101
Homelessness PH: 1800 152 152
Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (JH&FMHN) provides a 24-hour telephone service primarily for people in custody and their relatives. JH&FMHN Mental Health Helpline 1800 222 472 NSW Health provides a state-wide Mental Health Line which is a 24-hour telephone service operating seven days a week across NSW for people in the community. NSW Health Mental Health Line 1800 011 511
Integrated Care Service
For patients with a chronic disease who require assistance with community medical appointments upon release.
Hotline 1800 880 894 – telephone support available Monday to Friday, 7:30am-4pm. firstname.lastname@example.org
Obtaining a Prescription
Prescription medicines can only be obtained from someone who can prescribe them such as your doctor. Dentists, optometrists, midwives and nurse practitioners may also be authorised to prescribe medicines for you.
The prescription is a form with information about the required medicine, including its name, form, strength, dose, quantity to be dispensed, how long you need to take it for, and any other instructions for use.
It is important that you understand why you are being prescribed a medicine, how you should take it and any possible side effects. Ask your doctor if you need to know about any of your medicines and remember you can also ask your pharmacist for advice.
Visiting a Pharmacy to have your prescription dispensed
The pharmacist will dispense the prescription medicine using the details and instructions on the prescription form. The information from the prescription will be repeated on the label that the pharmacist will stick to the medicine container.
The pharmacist may include other instructions about taking and looking after your medicine correctly. For example, ‘to be taken with meals’, or ‘to be stored in a cool place’.
The pharmacist may put warning stickers on your medicine container – for example ‘may cause dizziness’ or ‘do not drink alcohol’. Ask your pharmacist to explain any instructions or warnings if there is anything you don’t understand.
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme helps cover the cost of a wide range of prescription medicines so that they are more affordable for you.
If you are an Australian resident or a visitor from a country with a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement with Australia, you could get your medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Eligible veterans, war widowers and their dependents can get PBS medicines plus some other medicines at a lower cost under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS).
Claiming PBS medicines
If you are eligible and PBS medicines are prescribed to you, you will only need to pay a co-payment.
If you or your family need a lot of medicines in a calendar year, the PBS Safety Net helps you with the cost of your medicines.
To make sure you pay the right amount for your medicines, each time you get a prescription filled you must show the pharmacist your current:
- Medicare card
- A concession, health care or Department of Veterans’ Affairs card, if you have one
- PBS Safety Net card if you have one
When paying for your medicines you must pay a contribution (or ‘co-payment’) which, at 1 January 2015, was $37.70 or $6.10 for people with a concession card. The Australian Government pays the remaining cost.
It is important you have your cards with you when you get your prescription filled.
If you do not have your cards you may have to pay more for your medicines. If this happens, ask your pharmacist for an official PBS refund receipt so that you can obtain a refund from Medicare. If you choose a more expensive brand of medicine you may need to pay more. This may not be fully refunded.
Less expensive or generic brands
You can ask your pharmacist to supply a less expensive brand of your prescribed medicine. Less expensive or generic brands have the same active ingredients. They might look different, but they still meet the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s high standards of quality, safety and effectiveness.
Where to get help
- Your doctor or other prescriber
- Your local pharmacist
- Medicines Line (Australia) Tel. 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) – for information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines
- JH&FMHN Pharmacy Service (02) 9700 3090
Ref: Medicare-Department of Human Services, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Public Dental Services
Who can get free dental care?
Free dental care is available at NSW public dental clinics for:
- all children under 18 years of age
adults who hold any of the following Centrelink concession cards:
Pensioner Concession Card
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
Health Care Card
Anyone listed on your card is also eligible for free public oral health care.
All patients must be eligible for Medicare and should have a valid Medicare card. For Medicare information call 13 32 54.
How do I make a dental appointment?
Ring your Local Health District public dental call centre number, listed here:
|Local Health District||Phone Number|
SydneySouth Western Sydney
|(02) 9293 3333|
|South Eastern Sydney||1300 134 226|
Mid North CoastHunter New England
1300 651 625
|Central Coast||1300 789 404|
|Northern Sydney||1300 732 503|
|1800 450 046|
Western SydneyNepean Blue Mountains
(02) 9845 6766 or1300 739 949 (Land line only)
Far WestWestern NSW
|1300 552 626|
What happens when I ring?
The call centre staff will ask:
- for your concession and Medicare card numbers
- questions about your teeth so they can give you an appointment or place you on a waiting list, depending on your dental need.
The appointment offered may not be at your closest clinic, but it may give you the earliest appointment.
You can choose to go to your closest clinic but you may need to wait for an appointment.
What should I do if I need an Interpreter or Aboriginal Liaison Officer?
Ask the call centre to arrange an Interpreter or Aboriginal Liaison Officer / Health Worker at your appointment.
You can also use the National Interpreter Service on 13 14 50.
What do I need to know?
You need to bring your current concession and Medicare cards to receive treatment.
Your first visit will usually involve a check of your dental needs. You may receive some dental care, but you should not expect your teeth to be fully fixed at your first visit.
If you require further dental care, you will be either: given an appointment, placed on a waiting list, or given a voucher to see a private dentist, depending on your dental needs.
Generally, public dental services are unable to provide crowns, implants or root canal therapy on back teeth.
What should I do if I cannot get to my appointment?
You must ring your Local Health District dental call centre to change or cancel your appointment.
If you fail to attend your appointment, or do not call to change it, your treatment might be cancelled by the Local Health District.
You should let the Local Health District public dental centre know if you change your address or phone number.
Tips to care for your teeth
- Enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods
- Avoid snacking on sugary and sticky foods between meals
- Tap water is best to drink
- Avoid acidic or sugary drinks between meals
- Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, especially before bed
- Protect your teeth with a mouth guard or full-face helmet when playing sport
- Have regular dental check-ups
- Avoid smoking
- Limit alcohol
- Exercise regularly
What is a dental emergency?
- Bleeding in the mouth that will not stop
- Swelling of the face from tooth infection
- Recent injury to your teeth
What should I do?
- After hours you should go to your local hospital’s emergency department
- During working hours you should call your Local Health District public dental call centre
(Information sourced from NSW Health Centre for Oral Health Strategy Public Dental Services August 2013)
Drug and Alcohol Service
Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST) on release
If you were receiving OST medication (methadone, suboxone or subutex) in custody and have just been released you will have on-going OST dosing arranged for you in the community.
If it is a weekend or public holiday go to the clinic you were dosing OST at before you came into custody or the nearest public OST clinic and tell them you have just been released from gaol. They will contact us on our on call telephone line.
If you are unsure where to go or what to do, please call JH&FMHN Drug & Alcohol Services on (02) 9811 0100 (Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm).
Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS)
The Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) is a state wide 24 hour, 7 day confidential telephone support service which provides advice, information and referral to Drug & Alcohol related agencies. If you require any advice related to alcohol or other drugs matters or contact details for any agency that provides Drug & Alcohol services then this service can assist you.
Telephone ADIS: (02) 9361 2111 or 1800 42 2599 (country NSW callers) (24 hours, 7 days)
Stimulant Treatment Line (STL)
The Stimulant Treatment Line is a helpline if you have questions about psychostimulants (Ice, cocaine, ecstasy) use. STL operates a 24 hour, 7 day a week phone line offering advice, support, referral, and counselling for people concerned about stimulants.
Telephone STL: (02) 9361 8088 or 1800 10 11 88 (country NSW callers) (24 hours, 7 days) http://yourroom.com.au/helplines/
Link2home is the statewide homelessness information and referral telephone service. It brings together several homelessness telephone services including the Homeless Persons Information Centre (HPIC), Youth Connect and the After Hours Temporary Accommodation (TA) line.
For information, assessment or referral to homelessness services and support in NSW call:
Telephone Link2home: 1800 152 152 (24 hours, 7 days)