Emergency departments

The main emergency department in the region is at Toowoomba Hospital.

Accident and emergency services are also available at other hospitals in the South Burnett, Southern and Western Darling Downs regions.

South Burnett

There are accident and emergency services at the following hospitals:

Southern Region

There are accident and emergency services at the following hospitals:

Western Region

There are accident and emergency services at the following hospitals:

When to go to an emergency department

Choosing to go to an emergency department depends on how serious your injury or illness is.

In an emergency, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

If you're not sure whether to go to an emergency department call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or see your doctor.

You don't need to go to an emergency department for things like:

  • taking your stitches out
  • sprains and strains
  • bites and stings
  • viruses or infections
  • eye injuries
  • an illness or injury that you've had for a long time.

Your GP will be able to you treat you.

What to bring

If you go to emergency, remember to bring:

  • your driver's licence or passport
  • your Medicare card
  • your pension or concession card, if you have one
  • a list of medications you're taking or the actual medications
  • any x-rays, scans or test results that will help the doctor to treat you in emergency
  • your GP's address and phone number
  • food, bottles, nappies, extra clothing and a toy for babies and children
  • money for phone calls, vending machines or a cab home if you arrive by ambulance
  • your mobile phone
  • something to read while you are waiting.

What to expect at an emergency department

When you arrive at the emergency department, please go straight to the reception counter. A nurse will see you and they will assess how urgent your condition is.

Patients get treated in order so that we can see the sickest patients first.

The nurse will also need to know if you:

  • have had any other health problems
  • take any medication
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have recently been overseas
  • have housing or social concerns
  • have pain or symptoms that are getting worse
  • need an interpreter
  • need an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker
  • identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

What happens after you see the doctor will depend on your medical condition.

You may need to:

  • see a specialist
  • stay in emergency so the medical staff can observe you
  • get more treatment like a plaster cast or stitches
  • get a script written for some medication
  • get moved to another hospital for more specialist treatment.

Do you need an interpreter or Indigenous Health Worker?

  • We have a free interpreter service for patients at our emergency departments.
  • The interpreters we use are fully accredited and can translate complex medical information for you — family or friends are usually not able to translate complex medical information.
  • If you'd like an interpreter, please let us know as soon as you arrive.

Please ask your nurse or doctor if you would like to talk to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officer.

Going home

If you’re taken to the emergency department by ambulance, you’ll need to ask someone to pick you up, or take a taxi home. Ambulances are only for emergency situations. They’ll take you to hospital if you’re sick or injured, but they won’t take you home again.

If you decide to leave before being treated, either because you feel better or want to see your GP instead, you can go at any time. However, the hospital won’t be held responsible if you become sicker or develop another health problem.

Make sure you tell the emergency department receptionist or triage nurse that you’re leaving.

Before you leave the emergency department make sure you:

  • understand the treatment you were given and what care you need
  • know what medicines you need to take and why
  • know when you need to see a doctor again and who to see — your general practitioner, the specialist or outpatient clinic
  • ask if you need a medical certificate, a letter for your general practitioner or Work Cover
  • take all your belongings with you.

How much will it cost?

Emergency medical treatment is free if you have a Medicare card. You may have to pay for treatment if you haven’t got a Medicare card.

Find out more about the cost to access public health services.

You can access emergency medical care if we have a reciprocal health agreement
with your country. You’ll need to show us your passport or reciprocal health care card.

Last updated: August 2023