Some frequently asked questions about the Emergency Department - find out further information about the Emergency Department

In an emergency contact 000

Emergency Department FAQs

This article has helpful information on when to go to ED.

If you are unsure whether you need emergency care, consider making a phone call first - you may be given the advice and guidance you need to stay well at home.

You can contact:

  • Nurse on Call on 1300 60 60 24
  • The National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080

The Emergency Department does not make appointments. Our unit aims to see the sickest patients as a priority.

At times we may ask you to return at a set time for review or follow-up. We will try to see you ASAP.

We do not give advice over the telephone and cannot provide information about waiting times as this can change within minutes.

We can refer you to nurse on call if you want medical phone advice.

The emergency department is a public department so all people who access medicare will receive treatment free of charge.

Our team does see international visitors - this is a paid service with an upfront fee. Australia does have reciprocal care agreements with certain countries.

If you are given a script to take home you will need to pay at the pharmacy regardless of whether it is the hospital or outside pharmacy.

Ambulance patients do not get seen ahead of more unwell patients.

At times the ambulance officers may escort you to the waiting room until you are seen. This allows them to treat other people in the community.

Unless you come from a residential care facility you are expected to make your own way home.

We encourage you to arrange for a family member or friend to be available to collect you.

The emergency department cubicles are relatively small and during the early phase of assessment and treatment we may ask you to wait rather than come into the department.

We need to be able to perform our investigations and procedures and also provide the patient with privacy. A parent will be allowed to accompany a child at all times.

At other times the patient may be in a different department for tests or being seen by a specialist so unable to have visitors. We allow 2 visitors per person at any time.

Every person seen in the ED will be treated with respect and this includes their privacy. Unless you are the nominated next of kin we cannot provide updates over the phone.

In the instance of a family member being very unwell we encourage the family to nominate one person to relay information to the rest of the family rather than having multiple phone calls.

The short stay unit is part of the emergency department and allows us to observe patients for a longer period and provide treatment for up to 24 hours.

It provides us with additional areas to monitor patients who may only need a few more hours of treatment rather than being admitted to the ward. 

If people are not well enough to go home at the end of 24 hours we arrange for transfer to the ward.

You can find out more about the Emergency Department here

Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.