Emergencies

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

If you have an urgent medical condition you can also come to our Emergency Department, which operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Our entrance is located at the eastern end of the main hospital building on Robin Warren Drive off Murdoch Drive, Murdoch.

Hospital map

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

The Emergency Department does not provide emergency dental services.

Visit Dental Health Services (external site) for information about how to access emergency dental care. The UWA Dental School operates a weekend emergency clinic (external site).

Not all COVID-19 cases need emergency care

Please remember, a positive COVID-19 result does not mean you need to present to an emergency department. You should only come to an emergency department if you require urgent medical attention.

Most people will only have mild symptoms that require symptomatic management with simple paracetamol and good hydration. If you require medical assistance during quarantine, you will need to utilise specific COVID health support, which might include WA COVID Care at Home (see below), a telehealth appointment with your GP, or HealthDirect

You should always tell the health support person that you or someone in your household is COVID-19 positive. Read about coming to hospital if you are in COVID-19 isolation or quarantine.

For information about how to care for yourself and your loved ones at home with COVID-19, read Looking after yourself (Healthy WA).

WA COVID Care at Home

WA COVID Care at Home (Healthy WA) delivers free home monitoring care for COVID-positive children and adults in Western Australia who may have risk factors that put them at a greater risk of becoming seriously unwell.

This service is available to anyone in a metropolitan, rural or remote residential setting in WA who has access to a telephone.

You need to register to be considered for WA COVID Care at Home.

For more information, read the FAQs (Healthy WA) or visit the webpage to register (Healthy WA).

Learn more about managing COVID-19 at home (external site).

Emergency care in a COVID-19 environment

Patients requiring unplanned emergency care will continue to be treated as a high priority, but all patients must now undertake rapid antigen tests (RATs) (Healthy WA) on arrival.

These changes will help keep our patients, staff and the wider community safe from the spread of COVID-19. Please be assured patients in all pathways will be triaged as usual by ED staff to assess their condition and those needing urgent care will be managed accordingly. Read more about this triage process below in ‘When you arrive’.

Introducing RAT screening within our emergency departments (ED) allows us to identify easily those patients who need COVID-19 precautions before they enter the ED. It means greater protection for patients, staff, and the community.

Your RAT result helps decide where in the ED you will receive your treatment – it does not change the treatment you receive.

Please be assured you will be triaged as usual by ED staff to assess your condition. If you need immediate care, the appropriate care will be given.

When demand for emergency care is high

A new process will streamline the emergency department registration process at times of high demand due to COVID-19. This process will not compromise patient care

If there is a wait to see the nurse, patients will be asked to scan a QR code on their personal mobile device and complete a brief online questionnaire. This is a series of questions to help fast-track the triage process.

The QR code will be prominently displayed on posters at the entrance to the ED car park and along the pathway towards the ED green triage kiosk.

Emergency Department staff will assist patients who do not have their own device or are having difficulty completing the questions.

These team members will also identify patients who may be deteriorating or need additional assistance.

Process for entering the Emergency Department

  • As soon as you arrive, please check in with staff who will be located outside the ED in the green kiosk. You will be asked a series of screening questions – please answer truthfully and fully.
  • ED staff will direct you to the RAT screening area which has been designed to maximise protection of patients and staff.
  • An ED staff member will help you complete the RAT. The result will be back within 15 minutes.
  • Once your RAT result is obtained you will be taken into the ED for treatment.
  • If you return a positive RAT, you will then have a PCR test (Healthy WA) to determine a definitive diagnosis of COVID-19. It can take up to 72 hours (3 days) to get these results.

If your RAT result is positive for COVID-19, you cannot have any visitors while you are in the ED to protect them against COVID-19 infection. ED staff will implement a special care plan to continue to treat you safely.

If at any time you are unsure of what to do, ask an ED staff member.

See how this new process works

Information for support people accompanying ED patients

In line with visitor arrangements for all public hospitals through WA, please limit the number of people accompanying a person who is coming to the emergency department. Support people will undergo the same screening process as emergency department patients and will be required to show proof of vaccination. Read information for all visitors on proof of vaccination documents and screening processes.

Please do not leave the designated ED areas to access other hospital areas or facilities.

Ambulance arrivals

Ambulance staff will liaise with emergency department staff when admitting patients who have arrived via ambulance.

Not all urgencies are emergencies

GP urgent care clinic - not all urgencies are emergencies. Book an appointment

A large network of GP practices within the Perth metropolitan area provide GP urgent care services to patients so they receive the most appropriate care without the need to attend an emergency department.

Minor injuries and illness that can be treated at a GP urgent care clinic include:

  • musculoskeletal and orthopaedic injuries
  • gastrointestinal illnesses
  • illnesses of the eye, ear, nose and throat
  • stings, bites, rashes and wound infections
  • abrasions and minor lacerations.
What to bring

If you are coming into our Emergency Department, if possible please bring with you:

  • your Medicare Card
  • any other entitlement cards (health care, pension, veterans, safety net)
  • your passport/health insurance details (overseas visitors/students)
  • private health insurance details (if you want to be admitted as a private patient) 
  • a list of your current medications
  • any x-rays/ultrasounds/scans that may be related to your condition
  • your employment contact details if your condition is covered by Workers’ Compensation
  • the name of your General Practitioner (GP).
When you arrive
Please see the triage nurse first. They will ask 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 inform 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. Our staff will continue to care for you until you are able to go to a ward or be discharged home.

Aishwarya’s CARE Call

Read what to do if you are worried you or the person you care for is getting sicker while in hospital.

An image of a loveheart with wings at either side and a phone handpiece above. Text next to the image reads Aishwarya's Care Call. 

Further information