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Tasmania rural and remote health services

From spectacular coastlines to rugged wilderness regions, Tasmania offers many lifestyle benefits for residents and visitors. However, many parts are isolated and away from the main cities. To maintain good health it’s important to know how to locate health information and services, wherever you are.

A snapshot of Tasmania

Tasmania's biggest industries are tourism and forestry, and most of the state is rural and remote. It’s famous for its wilderness.

While the cost of living is lower than in mainland Australia, so are wages, while there are also higher rates of unemployment and social disadvantage.

What types of health services are available?

There are health services in Tasmania that cater for all ages and needs:

The Tasmanian Government has also recently launched the OneHealth system to integrate and streamline healthcare.

e-health and online services

The Telecare Online Services network uses video conferencing equipment to connect rural and remote patients and health professionals with specialists at larger centres.

Using technology, a secure online record of health information can be kept, which can benefit people living in rural and remote areas. My Health Record helps improve communication with and between your doctor, health services, specialists and hospitals.

Mental health and wellbeing

It is important to be aware of the signs of loneliness and isolation and to take steps to maintain your wellbeing.

A wide range of relationship and mental health services can provide you with support.

Helplines and online support

Online health information can be really helpful, but it’s important to use reputable sources. Look for sites with HON (Health On the Net Foundation) certification.

Healthdirect provides free 24-hour health advice for non-urgent cases: call 1800 022 222 to speak with a registered nurse.

Hospitals

Tasmania has 4 public hospitals, and a network of rural hospitals. Outpatient clinics, which are based at hospitals, provide allied health services and medical testing.

The hospitals are supported by a network of multi-purpose services. These centres provide integrated services, such as residential aged care, general practice and community health services, in smaller rural and remote locations.

Travelling to medical and health services

If you need to travel to a hospital or specialist within Tasmania or to the mainland, you might be eligible for assistance. If you are eligible, the Patient Travel Assistance Scheme can provide financial support to help with medical travel and accommodation. They also have online information to help you prepare for hospital admission.

The Hospital Link bus service provides transport between the Mersey Community Hospital and North West Regional Hospital for patients, their families and members of the public.

Ambulance Tasmania and the Royal Flying Doctor Service work together to provide emergency ambulance care and non-emergency patient transport.

Travelling to hospital with a sick child can be difficult for the whole family. Ask your local health service or the hospital about what support may be available. You might also be eligible for accommodation through Ronald McDonald House.

Emergency assistance

  • In a medical emergency, dial triple zero (000) immediately.
  • If your mobile phone is out of credit or out of range, you can dial for emergency ambulance assistance on 112.

If it’s not an emergency, contact your nearest doctor, or call 1800 022 222 to speak with a registered nurse. After an assessment, the nurse might refer you to the after hours GP helpline. 

Further information

Last reviewed: May 2017

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