Supporting everyone to be healthy and live well

Emergency Department

Contact Details

Hours: 24 hours 7 days per week
Location: Entrance via Service Street, Echuca
Phone: (03) 5485 5000
Fax: (03) 5485 5224


The Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year and is staffed by a dedicated team of professionals. This includes emergency medicine specialist doctors, critical care trained nurses, in hours mental health clinicians, social workers and physiotherapists. They are supported by technical and clerical staff. In an emergency, please phone Triple Zero (000).

Alternative services

During times of high demand where waiting times in the Emergency Department are long, patients may choose to seek consultations / health advice from alternative providers.

  • Virtual Emergency Department

The Victorian Virtual Emergency Department allows you to access care for non-life-threatening emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be connected to our emergency doctors and nurses via a video call, and receive medical advice from the comfort of your home.

To register, visit:

  • For prescriptions
  • NURSE-ON-CALL is a phone service that provides immediate, expert health advice from a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Should you call ERH Emergency for advice, you may be transferred to the Nurse on Call service.

Call 1300 60 60 24 for the cost of a local call from anywhere in Victoria for health advice 24 hours a day (calls from mobile phones may be charged at a higher rate).

How busy is the Emergency Department?

Normal Activity

Even during normal activity staff are often busy and waiting times around an hour can be expected.

Very Busy

As we get busier, the number of people in the waiting room increases and the time you may need to wait for treatment gets longer.

Extremely Busy

When we are extremely busy, the waiting room often gets crowded, and some people may need to wait more than four hours.


Your treatment starts as soon as you step into the Emergency Department. On arrival, you will see a specialist emergency nurse called the ‘triage nurse’. The triage nurse will assess how severe your condition is and will allocate you a Triage category.

The triage system has five levels:

Immediate (life-threatening)
Emergency (could become life-threatening)

Urgent (not life-threatening)
Non-urgent (needs treatment when time permits).

You will be treated as soon as possible, but someone who arrives in the Emergency Department after you may be seen before you if they need treatment more urgently. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in increased waiting times for less urgent cases.

After the triage process you will need to wait to see a doctor. Your wait can be anywhere from a couple of minutes to several hours, this will depend on how unwell you are, how long your tests take to come back and the number of patients who also require treatment at a similar time. Patients who arrive by ambulance are not necessarily seen first.

While in the waiting room, please direct all concerns to the triage desk. If you have been taken through to one of the clinical areas, please direct all concerns to the nurse that has been allocated to care for you.

Waiting Times

After seeing the triage nurse, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room. How long you wait depends on the number of patients whose condition is more serious than yours and also how busy the department is.

We know that waiting can be frustrating. We will do our best to keep your wait to a minimum and make you comfortable. If you feel your condition is not urgent please consider contacting your GP or medical clinic. .

While you wait, if you feel your condition changes, please let the Triage Nurse know.

Food and Drink

We ask that you do not eat or drink before being seen. You may need tests or procedures that require you not to eat or drink beforehand. Speak to the triage nurse if you have any questions about this matter.

Further Assessment and Treatment

A staff member will call you into the department where they will re-assess your condition, ask some questions, examine you and discuss your problem and any tests or treatments that might be required. Please feel free to ask questions about your illness and your treatment at this time.

Depending on your presenting condition, treatment required and the results of any investigations performed, you may be discharged home with GP follow up or admitted to the hospital for ongoing care.

Things to tell the Emergency Department Staff

As we may not be aware of your medical background, you will be asked many questions. Sometimes this needs to be done by more than one health care worker.


To help us assess and treat you, please tell us about:

  • Any health problems you have had
  • All drugs and treatments that you are having.
  • Allergies that you may have.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Any recent visits overseas.
  • Any other facts we should know about.

What to bring- When you come to Emergency please bring

  • Any information from your GP, to assist in determining your health status and urgency category at the time of your arrival
  • Medicare card
  • Health Care and/or Concession Card (if you have one)
  • Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
  • Medicines you need to take while you are here
  • List of medicines you are currently taking (or the boxes), including medicines you have bought without a prescription, such as herbal supplements and vitamins
  • Relevant x-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results or reports
  • Private health insurance card (if you want to use it)
  • Glasses, hearing aid, walking frame


If admission to hospital is required the approximate length of stay and treatment plan will be discussed with you. As your admission is unplanned, it may take some time for a hospital bed to be available. Sometimes we may need to transfer you to another hospital for your treatment. Until then you will be cared for in the Emergency Department.

Can my family be with me?

Having family or friends with you can ease the stress, so family and friends are welcome. They should feel free to help with your care, however, for safety reasons, only one or two visitors are allowed in the Emergency Department at one time. We may ask them to leave during some procedures. We also ask that you and your family and friends respect the privacy of others.

Valuables and belongings

We advise you to ask a friend or relative to look after your valuables while you are being treated in the Emergency Department. Echuca Regional Health does not accept any responsibility for any valuables brought into the Emergency Department.


Photos are not permitted to be taken in the Emergency Department unless consent is sought from a member of staff. Photos of other patients and staff are strictly forbidden. .

Code of Behaviour

Echuca Regional Health has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy. A Code of Behaviour exists to ensure a safe and friendly environment for patients, visitors and staff. No acts of violence, swearing, threats or verbal abuse towards another patient, relative or staff member will be tolerated. . An initial warning will be given, however if the behaviour continues you will be asked to leave by the staff, security or the police.

Going Home

When you are discharged from the hospital, you will be given advice about follow-up care.

This may include:

  • Instruction sheets
  • Medication or Prescriptions
  • Appointments for further tests
  • Outpatient appointments
  • A letter for your local doctor

Please make sure that you have any medical certificates, WorkCover or Transport Accident Compensation certificates required before leaving the hospital.

Other services and clinics

Mental Health

  • Echuca Regional Health Wellbeing and Primary Mental Health- (03) 5485 5800
  • Mental Health Triage – 1300 363 788 (VIC)
  • Accessline- 1800 800 744 (NSW)
  • Headspace Echuca- (03) 5485 5048


Echuca Regional Health Physiotherapy

Hours: 8:00am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday

Location: The Hopwood Centre, Leichardt St

Phone: (03) 5485 5801


Echuca Regional Health Dental Clinic

Hours:   8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday

Location: The Hopwood Centre, Leichardt St, Echuca

Phone: 03 5485 5820 or 03 5485 5821


Resources/ Fact sheets link

Your Comments and Feedback

Balancing the needs of everyone in an Emergency Department is a complex and delicate task. We aim to achieve the best care for patients. However, sometimes patients feel their needs may not have been fully met. If you have had an experience that we can learn from and improve on, we are keen to hear about it and take the chance to move forward. We also appreciate positive feedback to let our hard-working staff know when they have done a great job.

Please click here to provide us with your feedback.

Departments and Services In Patient Services Emergency Department