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Tasmania rural and remote health services

6-minute read

Key facts

  • Living in rural and remote parts of Tasmania means it might be harder for you to access some specialist health services.
  • It is important to be familiar with health services in your area, so that you can get help when you or your family 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

From beautiful coastlines to rugged wilderness, Tasmania offers many lifestyle benefits for locals and visitors. Many parts of Tasmania are isolated and far away from the main cities. It is important to know where to find health information and services, so you can get help when you or someone in your family need it.

Tasmania's biggest industries are tourism and forestry, and most of the state is considered rural and remote. While the cost of living is lower than in mainland Australia, so are wages. There are also higher rates of unemployment and social disadvantage.

What types of health services are available?

Tasmania has 4 major hospitals, and some smaller district hospitals that offer a range of limited health services. Tasmania also has specific health services including:

Outpatient clinics in Tasmania offer specialist medical, paediatric, aged care, obstetric and surgical assessment, as well as allied health services and medical testing.

Finding services and online support

Online health information can be helpful. However, it's important to use sources you can trust, 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

Telehealth 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 health appointment.

My health record

My Health Record is a secure online summary of your health information. It can help improve communication between your doctors, health services, specialists and hospitals. You may have several health providers in different locations, and this digital summary means your health information is all in one place, and easily accessible to all the health professionals involved in your care.

Travelling to medical and health services

You may need to travel to a hospital or specialist within Tasmania, or to the mainland. If so, you might be able to apply for help for non-emergency patient transport. Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS) can provide financial support towards medical travel and accommodation. It also has online information to help you prepare for hospital admission.

Ambulance Tasmania and the Royal Flying Doctor Service work together to provide:

  • emergency ambulance care
  • non-emergency patient transport
  • health education

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

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health

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

Mental health and wellbeing

People living and working in rural and remote areas can sometimes feel more pressures than those in the city. These can include:

Access Mental Health is a support, triage and referral phone line for anyone in Tasmania who needs immediate support. Call 1800 332 388 to access:

  • immediate phone counselling
  • information about the Tasmanian mental health system
  • referral to the public mental health services

If you are experiencing distress, you can call Lifeline 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Services are also available if you need help with relationships and mental health.

Emergency medical help

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

Resources and support

To find health services in Tasmania specific to your needs, visit the following:

Further information

More information on a range of health conditions and services 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


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