An emergency department (ED) is part of a hospital that provides 24-hour emergency care to patients who need urgent medical attention for severe injuries or illness. Most public hospitals in Australia have an emergency department.
EDs have trained doctors and other healthcare professionals to care for you if you have a medical emergency. When you come to the ED with a serious illness or injury, specially trained staff will assess, treat and start your care as needed.
Some EDs provide services only to particular groups of patients, for example, EDs at children’s hospitals and some women’s hospitals. Most EDs accept all emergencies.
To find your closest emergency department, use the healthdirect online service finder tool.
Some areas have Medicare urgent care clinics that are open late and give treatment for non-life threatening injuries or illnesses. Examples include bites, stings, rashes and minor cuts.
You should only go to a hospital ED if you or your child are seriously ill or injured or if you become unwell suddenly.
You may need to go to ED for these severe or urgent conditions: