Emergency Department

Royal Hobart Hospital

Emergency Department

Concerned you may have Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

If you have severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, call 000 for an ambulance.

Otherwise you don't need to come to the emergency department. Please visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au for advice on what to do.

In an emergency call
triple zero (000)

and ask for an ambulance

(03) 6166 6100
(not for medical advice)

(compliments, suggestions or complaints)

Lower Ground floor,
below Liverpool Street entrance
48 Liverpool St, Hobart

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View location map

The Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) Emergency Department provides urgent care for people with illness or injury 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Over 60,000 adults and children are treated every year.

The Emergency Department incorporates an Emergency Medical Unit for patients requiring a brief hospital stay.

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Deciding to come to the Emergency Department »

Life threatening conditions

Call 000 (triple zero) and ask for an ambulance

Non life threatening conditions

Consider seeking phone advice first.

For free health advice any time, visit healthdirect or call 1800 022 222.

Other services which may be able to help

Coming to the Emergency Department »

Preparing to come

Please try to bring the following when you come to the Emergency Department:

  • a list of your medications or the medications themselves
  • your GP’s details
  • your Medicare card (or your passport if you are not an Australian citizen)
  • your pension or concession card (if you have one)
  • your private health insurance details (if you have any)
  • food, bottles, nappies, extra clothing and a toy (for babies & children)
  • a book or magazine
  • money for a taxi home if you are arriving by ambulance
  • please try not to bring valuables other than your mobile phone

Children should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.

In most cases only one family member or friend can accompany each patient.

Please don't eat or drink anything before coming to the Emergency Department as surgery and some tests require an empty stomach. Bring your food with you and check with Emergency Department staff before eating it.

How to get to the RHH Emergency Department

The Emergency Department at the RHH is located on the Lower Ground floor below the hospital main entrance on Liverpool Street. View location map.

Pedestrian access, either:

  • down the ramp at the corner of Argyle and Liverpool Streets
  • down the stairs in the Liverpool Street forecourt

Vehicle access:

  • down the ramp at the corner of Campbell and Liverpool Streets
  • There is a 5 minute standing area in front of the Emergency Department for dropping off and picking up patients only.
  • Please do not stop on the ramp at any time. This blocks ambulance access and endangers others.

Car parks nearby include:

Location map for RHH Emergency Department

Lower Ground floor, J Block, below hospital main entrance at 48 Liverpool St, Hobart

printable PDF version of location map

In the Emergency Department »

On Arrival

Please see the triage nurse first. They will ask you some questions and may examine you. You will then be assigned a category 1-5 based on the urgency of care you require.

It is important to tell the triage nurse the following:

  • if a GP or other health professional asked you to attend the Emergency Department
  • which medications you are taking
  • any allergies you have
  • your child's immunisation history
  • if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • if you have recently travelled overseas
  • if you need an interpreter.

After you have seen the triage nurse you will register with one of the clerical staff. Information they will ask you to provide includes:

  • contact details for you and your next of kin
  • your GP's details
  • your Medicare card (or passport if you are not an Australian citizen)
  • your private health insurance details (if you have any)
  • your preferred language
  • your cultural & religious background.


The Emergency Department is a busy place. Although staff do their best to see you as soon as possible, waiting times are unpredictable.

Patients are seen in order of the urgency of care they require, not in order of arrival.

Arriving by ambulance or being sent to the Emergency Department by a health professional won't change how quickly you are seen.

Even if the waiting room does not appear busy, it may be very busy inside the Emergency Department.

If you are feeling worse or are in pain while you wait, please tell the triage nurse.

The waiting room has different coloured chairs for patients:

RED waiting to see the triage nurse 
BLUE allocated to the River treatment area, usually because they will require a bed to be assessed
GREEN allocated to the Mountain treatment area

If you feel better or want to see your GP instead, you can leave at any time. Please talk with the triage nurse before leaving.

Your assessment and treatment

Often a nurse will begin your assessment & treatment before you see a doctor.

Once you have been allocated a cubicle you may be asked to undress and change into a gown.

Your assessment may require tests such as blood tests & x-rays.

Please be aware that your visit to the Emergency Department will take longer than a visit to a GP. It takes time for tests to be performed, for results to come back, for your case to be discussed with other members of the team, for treatments to take effect, and so on.

Please understand staff may sometimes be called away to treat a life threatening emergency or more urgent case.

You will be involved in decisions about your treatment. Please ask if you don’t understand what is happening at any time.

General Information

Eating and drinking

Please check with the triage nurse as surgery and some tests require an empty stomach. There is a vending machine in the waiting room. The Central Auxiliary Kiosk & Coffee Shop is located in the Liverpool Street circle at the front of the hospital and is open 8:30 am to 6:30 pm weekdays (11:00 am to 6:30 pm weekends and public holidays). The Cafeteria is located on ground floor of D Block and is open 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones can be used in the Emergency department. However for patient privacy, no photos or videos can be taken at any time.


Smoking is not permitted in the hospital or anywhere on hospital grounds, including the ramp in front of the Emergency Department. Please quitnow.

Belongings and valuables

Belongings and valuables are entirely your responsibility.

Safety and behaviour

Threatening, abusive or violent behaviour is not tolerated in our Emergency Department. You will be asked to leave by security staff or the police.


The safety of our patients, visitors and staff is very important and by restricting visitors we are taking measures that align with public health advice to prevent the potential spread and impact of COVID-19. Please go to Hospital Visitor Restrictions page for latest information.


Children should always be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.

Language and cultural services

Please tell staff on arrival if:

  • you need an interpreter
  • are deaf or hard of hearing
  • are of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander descent
  • are a refugee or migrant.

Leaving the Emergency Department »

Hospital admission

About 1 in 3 people seen in the RHH Emergency Department require admission to the hospital.

You may be admitted to the Emergency Medical Unit if only a brief stay is required.

If a longer stay is required, you will be admitted to a hospital ward under the care of a treating team.

Going home

Most people are able to go home once their treatment in the Emergency Department is complete.

Before leaving please ensure you:

  • understand the treatment you were given and what ongoing treatment you require
  • know when you need to see a health professional again and who to see (such as your GP, a specialist or an outpatient clinic)
  • have a medical or workers compensation certificate if you need one
  • take all your belongings with you.

You need to arrange your own transport home, ambulances cannot take you. There is a taxi phone outside the Emergency Department entrance.

Your GP should receive an electronic summary of your visit soon after you leave.

Further testing

Sometimes you will be recommended to have further tests (for example blood tests or x-rays) in the days and weeks after you have left the Emergency Department.

Tests done at the RHH are free to Medicare card holders.

You may also choose to have the test performed by a private provider. This may be quicker or more convenient but please be aware this may cost you money.

Other things you need to know »

What will it cost?

Treatment is free to Medicare card holders.

You may have to pay for services if you do not hold a Medicare card.

If you are a visitor from a country that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia, treatment will be free if you show your passport.

Where to send compliments, suggestions or feedback

The RHH encourages feedback on services and care provided to patients. You may express your opinion by making suggestions, thanking or acknowledging good service provided by the staff, or you may wish to make a complaint.

Please see the Department of Health's online contact page for ways to get in touch

All complaints are taken very seriously with a full investigation carried out. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you may wish to contact the Health Complaints Commissioner on 1800 001 170.

Visitor Restrictions  »

Due to the large numbers of patients and staff within the Royal Hobart Hospital Emergency Department there continue to be strict visitor restrictions.

A single visitor is permitted in the following circumstances:

  • A parent/guardian of a dependent child
  • A support person for a patient requiring significant physical, communication or comprehension assistance.
  • On compassionate grounds (end of life support, critically unwell patient) it may be possible to allow two visitors for defined periods of time at the discretion of the nurse in charge.

We understand that coming to an Emergency Department can be very stressful but these restrictions are necessary to reduce crowding in the busy Emergency Department and waiting areas.