Emergency Department

What to do in an emergency

In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).

Connect to the Queensland Ambulance Service.

Hearing and/or speech impaired people can dial 106 by TTY or use other National Relay Services.

What happens when I arrive at the Emergency Department?

Emergency departments work on a triage system. This means that when you arrive, a medical assessment is carried out to see how urgently you need medical care. We will see and treat everyone who presents to the emergency department, starting with the sickest people first.

The first triage system was developed at Ipswich Hospital and the concept is now used worldwide. It exists to ensure the sickest people are treated first. While all patients at emergency departments may be experiencing serious illness or injury, those with life-threatening and severe conditions must be treated first.

Rating 1: immediately life-threatening patients: critical injury or cardiac arrest.

Rating 2: imminently life-threatening patients: critical illness, very severe pain, serious chest pains, difficulty in breathing or severe fractures.

Rating 3: potentially life-threatening patients: severe illness, bleeding heavily from cuts, major fractures, dehydrated.

Rating 4: potentially serious patients: less severe symptoms or injuries, such as foreign body in the eye, sprained ankle, migraine or ear ache.

Rating 5: less urgent patients: minor illnesses or symptoms, rashes, minor aches and pains.

Patients in the first three categories will always take priority over ratings 4 and 5. 

Urgent care

When your condition is urgent but not life-threatening and you cannot get in to see your regular GP, you can still receive free healthcare without an appointment.
The Medicare Urgent Care Clinic at Riverlink Shopping Centre and the Minor Injury and Illness Clinic at Ripley Satellite Hospital provide care for the following conditions:

  • mild burns and scalds
  • sprains and strains
  • minor fractures, sprains and sports injuries
  • back and neck pain
  • minor eye and ear problems
  • grazes and splinters
  • bites and stings
  • skin, ear, throat and chest infections
  • minor allergic reactions
  • symptoms of gastroenteritis, such as diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea or fever
  • urinary tract infections (pain on urinating)

To find your nearest urgent care clinic, including the Minor Injury and Illness Clinic, visit Urgent care.

If you think your injuries or illness would be rated 4 or 5, call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit a general practitioner (GP), after hours medical centre or pharmacy for minor illnesses to avoid delays and help keep the number of patients down in emergency departments.

By not using emergency department resources for non-emergency situations, you will allow emergency staff to focus on people who are seriously unwell, and you may find that you will be treated more efficiently elsewhere.

In an emergency call 000.