Emergency department presentations

Emergency departments (EDs) are an essential component of Australia’s health care system. Many of Australia’s public hospitals have purpose-built EDs, staffed 24 hours a day, providing care for patients who require urgent medical, surgical or other attention. ED activity is measured by the number of presentations to the ED.

Data used in this section refer to the 2018–19 and 2019–20 financial years. Data are sourced from the National Non-admitted Patient Emergency Department Care Database (NNAPEDCD).

National standards exist for data on non-admitted patient emergency department services, however, there are some variations in how those services are defined and counted across states and territories and over time. Therefore, comparisons of ED presentations across jurisdictions, and across time should be considered with caution. For more information on the NNAPEDCD, see Technical notes.

The number and rates of presentations to public hospital EDs for conditions related to air pollution and bushfire smoke are presented in the following section and include:

While not presented in this section, ED presentations for dehydration are also included in the supplementary tables (tables S3 and S4).

Where possible, ED presentations are reported by:

  • state and territory
  • Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4).