Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

South Australia rural and remote health services

7-minute read

Key facts

  • Living, working or travelling in rural and remote areas of South Australia means that may be harder for you to access some health services.
  • It is important to be familiar with health services in your area, so that you can be get help when you or your family member 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

Living, working and travelling in rural and remote South Australia (SA) offers unique experiences. When you're in a rural or remote part of South Australia, some health services and specialist health care can be harder to access. It is important to plan ahead and know what is available to you in your area.

South Australia borders every state of mainland Australia and large areas are rural or remote. Around 1 in 5 South Australians live outside the greater Adelaide capital city region. Agriculture, manufacturing and mining are the main industries in South Australia.

What types of health services are available?

Hospitals and health services in rural South Australia offer a range of services including a 24/7 remote health monitoring service. The Country Referral Unit can help you access many health services. You can call them on 1800 003 307 between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.

GP Plus Health Care Centres in Ceduna and Port Pirie provide health services. This service includes:

  • doctors
  • allied health
  • dental health
  • mental health
  • home and community care
  • midwifery and community health services

Multipurpose services provide integrated health and aged care services in some rural communities in South Australia. Call 1800 200 422 for more information about services near you.

Some agencies provide outreach specialist services, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service operates doctor and nurse clinics. To book an appointment call (08) 8648 9500 during office hours or email: clinicbooking@flyingdoctor.net

For after-hours medical help, call 1800 RFDS SA (1800 733 772) and ask to speak to the on-call RFDS doctor.

Finding services and online support

Online health information can be helpful. It's important to use credible sources, such as healthdirect's service finder.

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).

Telehealth

South Australia Digital Telehealth Network helps people and health practitioners in remote areas contact specialists and major hospitals through audio and video calls. This can, in some situations, reduce your need to travel to a medical appointment.

My health record

My Health Record is a secure online summary of your health information. It allows for better communication between your doctors, health services, specialists and hospitals. This digital summary stores your important health information in one place. Your doctors and other health providers can access the information they need to care for your health.

Travelling to medical and health services

If you need to travel long distances for medical and health services, you might be able to get help through the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme.

You can also ask your referring health service, or the hospital's pre-admission team, about what support might be available to you. Royal Adelaide Hospital has online information and a rural liaison nurse. Flinders Medical Centre also has online information for country patients.

There are a range of options available for patient transport:

If you are travelling with a seriously ill child, organisations such as Ronald McDonald House can help with accommodation.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health

Aboriginal health workers are based in many health services and hospitals across South Australia. Aboriginal community-controlled health services also have many primary health care services to their communities across South Australia.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre have Aboriginal health units that support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients, their escorts and families.

The Watto Purrunna Aboriginal Primary Health Care Service provides free and culturally sensitive services across Adelaide's northern and central regions.

Mental health and wellbeing

People living and working in rural and remote areas can sometimes experience greater pressures than those in regional and urban areas. If you live in a rural or remote area, it's important to be aware of the signs of loneliness and isolation.

If you need support, country mental health services are available in some areas. They also operate a 24-hour consultation and emergency triage service (call 13 14 65). The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provide a free service across South Australia. This is available to children and young people up to 18 years of age (16 years of age in some areas) as well as during pregnancy and after giving birth.

As well as these local services, there is a wide range of online resources and tools available, including apps that you can download.

Emergency medical help

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

Resources and support

Click the below links to find health services in rural and/or remote South Australia:

Further information

More information on a range of health conditions and services in South Australia include:

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


Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Maternity services in rural South Australia

Find out what maternity services are available in rural or remote South Australia and how to get care and support during your pregnancy and labour.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Regional Health Services | SA Health

Local hospitals and health services form a network delivering high quality health care across country South Australia.

Read more on SA Health website

Rural Emergency Responders Network (RERN) | SA Health

RERN is a network of specially trained South Australian rural GPs that attend out-of-hospital emergencies in partnership with the SA Ambulance Service and MedSTAR

Read more on SA Health website

PATS | SA Health

PATS provides some reimbursement to country patients and approved escorts for travel and accommodation costs.

Read more on SA Health website

Mental Health Services | SA Health

Mental health services in South Australia. A directory of where to get mental health help: crisis, counselling, support, advocacy and complaint services.

Read more on SA Health website

Mental health in rural and remote Australia

The reported prevalence of mental illness in rural and remote Australia appears similar to that of major cities.

Read more on National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) website

Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations - South Australia and Northern Territory | Royal Flying Doctor Service

At the Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations, we airlift 18 South Australians and 8 Territorians every day. Learn more about our service

Read more on Royal Flying Doctor Service website

Step up. Stay safe. | SA Health

Stop the spread of COVID-19. Get information and resources to help protect yourself and others from coronavirus.

Read more on SA Health website

Hand Hygiene | SA Health

Hand hygiene refers to any method which effectively removes soil and any harmful germs.

Read more on SA Health website

Infectious diseases | SA Health

Infectious diseases in children and adults - description, treatment, prevention, symptoms, notification and control in South Australia

Read more on SA Health website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Queensland Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.