Admission at NALHN services

Before you come to hospital:

  • read any information you are given
  • ask your GP if you have any questions
  • check if you need to fast (not eat or drink)
  • tell the doctor if you smoke.

At the hospital:

  • ask questions if you are not sure of anything.

On arrival

A bracelet identification band will be issued to all patients for their admission and needs to be worn throughout their stay. Patients should tell their doctor or a nurse of any allergies they have to antibiotics, medication or food, and mention any medication they take at home.

You or your family will be asked to complete admission forms, including a patient election form when you arrive at the hospital, or as soon as possible after an emergency admission.

This election form enables you to choose whether to be treated by a doctor allocated to you by the hospital, or by a doctor of your choice who works at, or has visiting rights to the hospital, making you a private patient.

Personal effects and valuables

Patients should not bring any valuables or money with them to hospital, other than a small amount for newspapers or magazines. If they must bring valuables, the patient can ask a member of the nursing staff to deposit the items with the cashier for safekeeping. Although all care is taken, the hospital is unable to accept responsibility for the loss of, or damage to, any property at patients’ bedsides.

Patients will be asked to sign a Property List Form when they hand over items to the cashier. Do not forget to collect your belongings before you leave hospital. Valuables can only be retrieved during office hours and you will need to arrange with our staff for the collection of your belongings as soon as you know your discharge time. For your protection, property will only be released to another person if they have a signed and witnessed letter of authority from you, in a form acceptable to the hospital.

Any electrical equipment you bring into the hospital needs to be tested by the hospital engineering staff for electrical safety prior to use. Please see the ward clerk within your ward to arrange testing of any electrical equipment.

What patients should and must not bring to hospital

There is a one bag limit for patients being admitted to public hospitals in South Australia. Please ensure your packed bag weighs less than eight kilograms and is no larger than an overnight sized bag. There is limited space available for baggage at our hospitals and luggage that exceeds the size and weight guidelines may not be able to be stored.

Exceptions may be made for people without family or carers and for those from rural and remote locations. Although all care is taken, NALHN cannot accept responsibility for the personal belongings of patients.

Public Patients

As a public Medicare patient, you are entitled to treatment in the public health care system and you generally do not have to pay for your treatment or your stay in hospital.

Patients who remain in hospital for longer than 35 days who no longer require hospital care may be liable to pay a fee.

Private Patients

Private patients can request to be treated by a particular doctor, provided that doctor has the clinical privilege to practice at the hospital. If you choose to be treated as a private patient, every effort is made by the hospital to organise for your nominated private health fund to be billed directly.

Please ask the staff to arrange a visit from the Patient Liaison Officer to discuss payment of your account while you are in hospital. Staff will provide you with further information, including any additional fees and charges. If you do not have private health insurance, you can still be admitted as a private patient and you will pay a competitive rate for your stay in hospital and other expenses. The account will be sent to you once you are discharged from the hospital. Single rooms are allocated on a clinical needs’ basis.

Related information

For hospital-specific information as to what patients should and must not bring to hospital, please see the relevant hospital website: