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Welcome to the Emergency Department

Mater Hospital Brisbane's Emergency Department provides care to those with urgent health problems. It is the main point of entry for emergency admissions to Mater Hospital Brisbane and Mater Mothers' Hospitals.

Mater Hospital Brisbane is a private hospital that receives grants from the State Government to provide services to public patients (those with no private health insurance) at no direct cost to the patient. Some services in the Emergency Department including medical, pathology & medical imaging services are bulk-billed to Medicare with no additional costs to the patient.

If you hold health or travel health insurance, Mater Private Hospital Brisbane on Vulture St runs Mater Private Emergency Care Centre at a cost to you. However, if you opt for care in our Emergency Department, we can still arrange private admission at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane or other private hospitals on request.

What happens to you?


On arrival you will be assessed by a Triage Nurse whose job it is to prioritise care so the sickest patients are seen first. This Department uses the Australasian Triage Score. This sorts patients into five categories based on urgency. Category one patients are the highest priority and are seen immediately upon arrival. Category four and five patients tend to be more stable and can usually wait safely until our doctors and nurses can see you.

We attempt to see all patients within the target time frame set by government but at busy times this is not possible.


One of our clerical staff will ensure the accuracy of your personal and contact details.

Fast Track

Patients with less complex problems will be referred to the Fast Track Clinic which is staffed separately to the main department. It aims to provide a more rapid service for patients who do not require a bed to lie on.

Assessment and Management

Your health care is coordinated and delivered by a team of health professionals including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. At the same time as providing care, they are organising pathology, x-ray and other tests.

At the end of this period a decision will be made about admission to hospital, or discharge back into the care of your General Practitioner (GP). Doctors will ensure details of your health care plan are communicated with your GP.

During office hours, we have access to Physiotherapy & Community Health Services.

Mental Health Services

This Hospital has no on-site mental health team. The Emergency Department staff here will provide basic services but will refer you to the Mental Health Service at the Princess Alexandra Hospital for expert care.

Appropriate Waiting Room Behaviour

Mater Health Services has Zero Tolerance for aggressive or abusive behaviour. Our expectation is that staff, visitors and patients are treated with courtesy and respect.

Abusive language, threatening behaviour or violence will not be tolerated. The Department will access Security Services and/or contact Police if behaviour is inappropriate.


1. What happens if I get worse while I am waiting?

Please notify the Triage Nurse if your condition has changed or if your pain worsens.

2. Will it cost anything to visit the Emergency Department?

Australian citizens receive free care. Some services are bulk-billed to Medicare. Non-Australian citizens may be charged if they are not from countries with reciprocal arrangements with Australia.

3. What if I don't understand what I am meant to do?

Please ask questions of our staff if you do not understand what is happening. Ask for a written discharge plan if you think it will help with your health care. We can also send a letter to your GP.

4. Can I smoke?


Mater has a strict NO SMOKING policy in all of its buildings.

5. Can I use the vending machines, eat or drink?

Please consult with the Triage Nurse before eating and drinking.

6. Can I use my mobile phone?

Please consider the comfort of others in the Waiting Room. Out of courtesy for staff and other patients, please refrain from use of mobile phones within the Emergency Department.

7. Can I have friends or relatives in the Department with me?

We understand the importance of having the support of friends and relatives. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. Please understand that we may place a restriction for some health care procedures or if space is limited.

8. Where can I park?

The space outside the Emergency Department is for drop-off and pick-up only. Mater Health Services provide car parking facilities and there is limited street parking.

9. Where are the toilets?

There are toilets and a parents' room in the corridor near the reception desk.

10. What do I do if I want to make a complaint?

We will endeavour to solve problems as they arise. If you are not satisfied with our service, attitude or management, please contact our Patient Representative on 07 3163 8303. Office hours are Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. We want your visit to be as comfortable as possible and take your feedback seriously.

11. What if I decide not to wait?

We try to see all patients as soon as possible. If our workload has led to long waits, and you decide to leave, please consult with the Triage Nurse before you leave.

12. What happens if I am admitted to hospital?

If you require admission to hospital, you will be reviewed by one of the ward doctors from the unit that will be caring for you. We will continue to look after you in the Emergency Department until a bed becomes available for you in that unit.

Mater Hospital Brisbane

Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane Q 4101
Telephone 07 3163 8111

© 2011 Mater Misericordiae Ltd. ACN 096 708 922.

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-420046
Last modified 09/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 19/7/2014
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