Emergency Departments

If you have a life-threatening medical condition, call 000 and request an ambulance.

If you live within the north metropolitan area, you can attend North Metropolitan Health Service Emergency Departments at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Joondalup Health Campus and King Edward Memorial Hospital for maternity and gynaecological emergencies.

If your child has an urgent medical condition you can go to Perth Children’s Hospital (external site) Emergency Department which, like Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, is located on the QEll Medical Centre site.

Emergency Departments are open 24-hours-a-day, every day of the year.

If possible, when attending the Emergency Department (ED) please bring with you:

  • your Medicare card
  • if no Medicare card, your passport, visa and insurance details.
  • any other entitlement cards (health care, pension, veterans, safety net)
  • details of your private health insurance (if you want to be admitted as a private patient)
  • your current medications (or a list)
  • any x-rays/ultrasounds/scans that may be related to your condition
  • your work contact details if your condition is covered by Workers’ Compensation
  • the name of your General Practitioner (GP).

Please be aware that patients are seen in order of illness severity, and not in order of attendance. If another patient comes to the ED with a more serious condition, you will need to wait. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

In Australia, overseas visitors, overseas students and patients who are not eligible for Medicare under their current VISA arrangements are required to pay for the cost of their health care. Please contact your referred hospital Overseas Liaison Officer.


When you arrive

Please see the Triage Nurse first. They will ask you questions and assess your condition to determine your level of priority:

  1. immediate (life threatening)
  2. very urgent
  3. urgent
  4. standard
  5. non-urgent.

Some patients need to be taken straight into the department. Others will be directed to the waiting room.

While you are waiting, please tell the Triage Nurse if:

  • your condition worsens
  • you decide to seek treatment elsewhere.

What happens next?

Once you are inside the Emergency Department, you will undergo a thorough assessment by a team of nursing and medical staff.

Tests and procedures will be carried out when necessary. The team will review your test results and provide emergency treatment, and will then decide to either:

  • allow you to return home with a referral, if necessary, for further care (such as a follow-up appointment with your local doctor or an outpatient appointment)
  • monitor your condition for a few hours before making a decision
  • admit you to the hospital for further care.

Sometimes patients must wait for test results or for a ward bed to become available. This may cause unavoidable delays in the Emergency Department. Our staff will continue to care for you until you are able to go to a ward or be discharged home.

Emergency Department activity

WA Health's Emergency Department live activity webpage (external site) provides an up-to-date view of the status of the Emergency Departments in each of the metropolitan hospitals. This includes current information on the average wait times and the number of patients waiting to be seen.

Last Updated: 05/07/2022