In an emergency

In an emergencyRing 111 and ask for an ambulance or come immediately to the nearest emergency department.

If you are seriously worried, don’t hesitate to attend an emergency department or call an ambulance.

You will receive treatment in priority order (the seriousness of your condition), not the order you arrive in.

If your problem does not need emergency treatment or further assessment at the hospital, we may recommend that you make a GP appointment or attend an after hours medical centre.

Our duty is to look after emergency cases first.

Locations of emergency departments

Waikato Hospital
Gate 2, Pembroke Street, Hamilton

Thames Hospital
610 Mackay Street, Thames

Tokoroa Hospital
Maraetai Road, Tokoroa

Te Kuiti Hospital
24 Ailsa Street, Te Kuiti

Taumarunui Hospital
Kuruau Road, Taumarunui

If you have a minor injury or feel unwell, please contact your GP or medical centre or ring Healthline 0800 611 116 anytime, day or night for health advice.

Read more information(external link) about GP and primary care services, and about Healthline. 

What happens in Emergency Departments

  • Emergency departments can be busy places. People waiting can be stressed and anxious.
  • Please be respectful of other people, and follow the instructions of our staff.
  • We are here to help you.
  • Violent behaviour (words or actions) will not be tolerated.

When you arrive

When you first arrive, report to the ED reception. Your condition will be assessed by a triage nurse.

We treat people in priority order, not the order of arrival.

If your condition is not urgent or serious, you will be asked to wait until a doctor is available to see you. It does not mean that you have been forgotten or that your problem is not important.

We will bring you through to a room in Emergency Department as soon as possible.

If, while you are waiting, you feel your condition is worsening, please speak to the nurse.

At any time, tell our staff if

  • you are in pain or uncomfortable
  • you don't understand what is happening
  • you have any concerns.

When the doctor sees you

When you are brought through to the Emergency Department, a doctor will assess you. This may mean some tests, xrays and investigations. You can expect to stay for four to six hours.

Once you have been assessed and treatment started, you may be

  • admitted to a ward
  • referred to your GP
  • treated and discharged, you can go. However if your condition worsens or does not progress satisfactorily after you are discharged, please contact your GP or return to the Emergency Department. If your need is urgent, please call an ambulance on 111 (24 hours).


Let your nurse know if you are in pain, need extra blankets or are uncomfortable in any way. We can provide simple pain relief and comfort as soon as we are able.

The Waikato Hospital Emergency Department has St John FEDS (Friends of Emergency Department) who are there to provide support to patients, family and friends.

Going home checklist

Before you leave, check that you are happy with the following:

  • I know what is wrong with me
  • I will be able to manage at home
  • I have my prescription (if needed) and I know where to go to pick up my medicine
  • I know how to care for my illness / injury at home
  • I have transport home
  • I know what follow up care I will need (e.g. an outpatient appointment or a visit to the family doctor)
  • my pain is under control
  • I have a copy of my discharge summary form and my ACC form.

Talk to our staff if you are unsure of anything.