The Northern Territory has declared a code yellow at the Top End's biggest hospital after it was inundated by patients.
Royal Darwin Hospital has been at, or near full capacity for 10 days, NT Health says.
"This is despite concentrated efforts from all staff to improve patient flow through admission and discharge initiatives," a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Category two and three elective surgery has been temporarily suspended.
Emergency surgery will continue as normal, along with specialist outpatient appointments.
A code yellow is called when an internal or infrastructure emergency occurs.
This can include high demand for hospital beds or computer outages.
It kicks off a number of plans and procedures that help the hospital closely manage the peak until pressure eases.
NT Health has urged people who have non-emergency health conditions to visit their GP as soon as they become sick.
This will prevent them becoming seriously unwell and keep hospital beds free for those who need them most.
Australian Associated Press