Emergency Department


For Patients and Visitors

What is the service?

The main function of the emergency department is to treat patients who are suffering from a serious illness or injury that could lead to severe complications if medical treatment is not received quickly. The Northern Hospital’s Emergency Department treats both adults and children 24 hours a day.

What can I expect from the service?

Please note: Patients are not seen in order of arrival, but based on urgency and, in times of high demand, wait times may be longer than expected.

On arrival to the Emergency Department, you will be assessed on the urgency of your condition by an emergency specialist nurse called a Triage Nurse.

As soon as possible you will be taken to a cubicle where you will be assessed by a member of the Emergency Department team and specialist tests or procedures may be done.

After an initial assessment you may have to return to the waiting room to await test results.

The waiting room may not appear busy, but the department inside could be very busy. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

The Emergency Department staff work closely as a team. Your assessment and treatment may begin in the waiting room and then depending on your needs you may be placed in various areas of the department. If you need further tests or specialist assessments, this may increase your waiting time.

What do I bring/need for my appointment?

You will be asked by our clerical staff to provide contact details, a Medicare card or insurance details. If you have been referred in by your local doctor, please bring the referral letter and any recent test results or x-rays.

Contact us

Medical Emergencies: 000 and request an ambulance.

Northern Hospital Enquiries: (03) 8405 8000

Please click here to access your nearest GP

For Health Professionals

Northern Health now offers the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) for local GPs, nurses, ambulance and aged care. Click here for more information.

Service Overview

The Northern Hospital Emergency Department provides comprehensive adult and paediatric emergency care 24/7.

A minimum of three specialist Emergency Physicians are on site between 7.30 am and 12 pm every day and are supported by a large team of emergency registrars and medical officers 24/7.

A separate section dedicated to paediatric emergency care was built within the department in 2014. Specialist Paediatric Emergency Physicians and nurses are employed seven days a week to provide care to children in this area.

Patients requiring admission for acute surgical intervention for Neurosurgical, Ophthalmology or Ear Nose and Throat conditions are transferred to our sub-speciality partners at other health services.

How to Refer

No referral is necessary, however a phone call, to provide details regarding your patient is appreciated and will be taken by an Emergency Physician.

Helpful information includes

Name, Date of birth, Northern Health UR number (if known), clinical problem, recent test results, key psychosocial social issues and current treatment.