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Queensland rural and remote health services

7-minute read

Key facts

  • Living in rural and remote areas means access to health services can be more challenging.
  • It is important to be familiar with health services in your area to be able to get help when you need it.
  • Telehealth allows remote video and phone contact with health practitioners.
  • You may be eligible for travel and accommodation support for medical appointments.

Planning ahead

Queensland is a large and diverse state: from a dry interior in the west, to the tropics in the north and the Torres Strait islands. While most people in Queensland live in large cities, most of the state is considered rural to very remote. More than 1 in every 2 Queensland residents live outside of the capital city area of Greater Brisbane.

There are many benefits to living and working in rural and remote Queensland. However, access to health services may be harder than in the city. Smaller rural towns often have fewer services than regional centres, and remote regions have even fewer. Planning ahead and knowing what health services are available to you, can help you prepare fin case you or someone in your family needs medical help.

What types of health services are available?

In regional, rural and remote Queensland, there is a mix of district, rural and community hospitals. You may also receive health services in healthcare centres and through multi-purpose health services. These are supported by visiting medical officers and remote area nurses. Remote nurses work on their own or in small teams, and can help you with primary health, emergency care and aged care services.

Outreach services are provided in some places. The Royal Flying Doctor Service uses multidisciplinary teams to deliver a range of primary health care services. This includes oral health (such as dentistry), mental health and wellbeing, telehealth and medical chests. LifeFlight Australia also delivers care to Queenslanders 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Finding services and online support

The internet is a great source of information when searching for health services. There are many different websites with information, but it is very important to use reliable sources, such as healthdirect's service finder.

Get to know the online support options, so you can prepare for your future health needs.

You can call healthdirect for free 24-hour health advice for non-urgent care. Call 1800 022 222 to speak with a registered nurse.

If you are pregnant, or a parent of a young child and have a health question, the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby video call service allows you to speak face-to-face with a maternal child health nurse. Video call is a free service and is available from 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week (including public holidays).


Queensland Telehealth helps people and health practitioners in remote areas contact specialists and staff in major hospitals through audio and video calls. This can, in some situations, reduce your need to travel to an appointment.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service also provides a 24-hour medical consultation service in remote Queensland via telephone and radio transmission. You can get Medicare rebates for telehealth consultations.

My Health record

My eHealth Record is a secure online summary of your health information. This improves communication between your doctors, health services, specialists and hospitals. This can help people living in rural and remote areas, as you may have several health providers in different locations. This digital summary allows important health information to be stored in one place, which is easily accessible to health care professionals.

Travelling to medical and health services

Travelling to health services and medical appointments can be stressful. If you need help finding support, speak with your local health service or the hospital before you go. You may be able to get help with travel and accommodation costs through the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.

If you are traveling with a very ill child, organisations such as Ronald McDonald House might also be able to help with accommodation.

Queensland Ambulance Service provides both emergency and non-emergency medical transport services. They can also connect you to services through the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health

A wide range of health services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people is available in rural and remote parts of Queensland.

Mental health and wellbeing

If you are living or working in rural and remote areas, you may be under more stress than if you lived in a town or a city. Extra stresses may come from feeling lonely or isolated, because of financial hardship, having no or few employment opportunities, or because of being affected by natural disasters. Sometimes, you will need extra support. Services are also available if you need help with relationships and mental health.

Farming and mining communities

Queensland is the fastest growing state in Australia and its main industries are farming, mining, fishing and tourism. Working in remote areas (for example, on a large cattle station or a mine) can be dangerous and stressful. As well as getting mental health support when you need it, it is important to take care of your physical safety. It's very important that children living in the country also do all they can to stay safe, and adults play a big role in helping make sure this happens.

Emergency medical help

In a medical emergency, dial triple zero (000) straight away, and ask for an ambulance.

Most large public hospitals have a 24-hour emergency department, and you can come in with your medical emergencies.

Resources and support

Check the below links to find health services in Queensland:

Further information

You can also call the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222. A registered nurse is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available from 7 am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week (including public holidays).

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: July 2023

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