Emergency Care

Emergency Care

Bass Coast Health provides a public-funded Emergency Department at Wonthaggi Hospital and also an Urgent Care Centre at the Phillip Island Health Hub at Cowes. 

These first class facilities are staffed by our own dedicated emergency doctors and nurses, and operate 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

The Emergency Department offers purpose-built treatment spaces that are spacious and equipped with the latest medical equipment. All treatment areas have doors and there are isolation rooms. 

Patients will be assisted by security at the front door, before being referred to the spacious waiting room for triage.

The Urgent Care Centre offers a series of bays and an isolation room. Enter via the Hub main entrance and report to reception for triage. The Centre offers treatment for minor injuries and illness. More serious conditions may be referred to the Emergency Department or another hospital.

The facilities provide patient-centred care and we have access to Adult Retrieval Victoria (ARV) for advice and support for critically unwell patients.

The Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre teams are dedicated to providing the best possible care to the community.


24 hours | 7 Days per week

Contact Details

Emergency Department

Phone: (03) 5671 3333

Fax: (03) 5671 3342

Location: Emergency Department, Wonthaggi Hospital, 235 Graham Street, Wonthaggi. 

Urgent Care Centre

Phone: (03) 5951 2101

Location: Phillip Island Health Hub, 50 Church Street, Cowes.

What Happens When You Present To Emergency/Urgent Care Centre


When presenting to the Emergency Department/Urgent Care Centre you will be seen by a nurse who will ask for your symptoms and perform routine checks. Based upon this initial consultation, the nurse will place you in a triage category. 

Triage Categories 

Category 1 - Resuscitation (the patient is unconscious or barely breathing) 
Category 2 - Emergency (very severe pain, severe breathing difficulties) 
Category 3 - Urgent (dehydration, moderately severe blood loss) 
Category 4 - Semi-urgent (mild bleeding, sprained ankle) 
Category 5 - Non-urgent (rashes, minor illnesses or symptoms) 

You or your carer will then be required to give your name and date of birth to the nurse and either asked to be seated in the waiting room or admitted, depending on your category.

Waiting Room

The amount of time you may wait in the Emergency Department depends on your category. 

Please remember that more severe cases will be seen as a priority so if you have been triaged as a Category 4 or 5 severity, you may have to wait longer than the allocated time given to that category. 

Weekends, and in particular holiday seasons, can also place added pressure on the Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre, as an influx of holidaymakers in the region can result in longer waiting times. 

If you need to use the toilet or step outside the waiting room, please inform the administration clerk or nurse.  It is important you do not leave the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre without informing a staff member.


When you are admitted to the Emergency Department/Urgent Care Centre, you will be initially seen by a senior nurse and then a doctor.  At all times you should be aware of the type of treatment taking place. If you are unsure about tests, treatment or the process, please ask a member of staff. 

You test results or diagnosis may require you to be admitted into a ward at Bass Coast Health's Wonthaggi Hospital or possibly transferred to another health service.  Alternatively, the doctor may believe admission is not required and you will be discharged home after observation. 

At all times staff will communicate with you throughout the process to ensure you are involved in your care planning.


When you leave the Emergency Department/Urgent Care Centre:

  • Collect all your personal belongings including x-rays, medications and medical documentation.
  • Ask for a medical certificate if you need one.
  • A member of your treatment team may give you a letter explaining your situation to help your doctor continue your care.  Please keep it in a safe place.
  • You may be instructed to follow up care with your local doctor.  


If staff, patients or visitors feel threatened or view inappropriate behaviour in the Emergency Department/Urgent Care Centre, security or police will be immediately called.


If you wish to leave feedback about your experience in the Emergency Department/Urgent Care Centre, please contact the administration staff located at reception of the Emergency Department/Urgent Care Centre.

The Urgent Care Centre at Phillip Island Health Hub is for the treatment of minor illnesses and injuries.