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

Victoria rural and remote health services

3-minute read

Regional and rural Victoria offers a lot to residents and visitors. Knowing where health services and information can be found will give you more confidence in finding support when it is needed.

A snapshot of Victoria

About 25 per cent of Australia's population live in Victoria. The state's biggest industries are agriculture (dairy, crops, wool) and manufacturing.

People living in and around metropolitan areas live longer than the national average, but the same is not true for rural Victorians. They experience more suicide, road traffic accidents, smoking-related cancers, diabetes, stroke and heart disease and airways diseases such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis than residents in metropolitan areas.

What types of health services are available?

Victoria has more than 300 hospitals and health services, including public, private and maternity hospitals, rural and regional health services, and small specialist rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitals.

Rural areas of Victoria are serviced by a number of moderate to large regional cities, and there are five rural health regions – Barwon-South Western, Gippsland, Grampians, Hume and Loddon Mallee.

In rural and isolated areas where a doctor might not be readily available, highly trained rural and isolated nurses (RIPERNs) provide primary care. Multi-purpose services also provide integrated health and aged care services in many rural Victorian communities.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service also provides a range of services across the state.

Many small rural communities have access to urgent care services that provide care for trauma cases before transfer to a regional centre. Transfers to specialist hospitals are arranged if required.

Ambulance Victoria provides emergency medical flights 24 hours a day from rural locations.

Mental health and wellbeing

People living and working in rural areas can experience greater pressures than those in urban areas and sometimes they may need extra support. These pressures include loneliness and isolation and financial hardship as well as the effects of a lack of employment opportunities and natural disasters.

If you need help to maintain your mental health and wellbeing, there is a range of support and services available. They include:

If you are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, Suicide Line provides 24-hour support across Victoria. Phone 1300 651 251 to talk anonymously to a professional.

Farm health

Farming can be hazardous, so it's important to take care of your safety and to maintain good health. Children living in the country also need help to stay safe.

Travelling to medical and health services

Travelling for medical services can be stressful and expensive, but you might be eligible for travel assistance.

Ambulance Victoria provides fee-for-service emergency medical transport, as well as non-emergency medical transport.

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

After hours and emergency medical assistance

In a medical emergency, immediately dial triple zero (000).

For non-urgent cases, you can speak to a registered nurse over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling the following:

  • Healthdirect: 1800 022 222
  • NURSE-ON-CALL: 1300 60 60 24 (Victorian service)

Further information

Last reviewed: April 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Maternity services in rural Victoria

If you live in rural or remote Victoria, find out what maternity services are available to you during your pregnancy and when you give birth.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Keeping in touch - National Relay Service

Thanks for visiting our page on how the NRS plays a vital role in helping people in rural and remote areas

Read more on National Relay Service website

Education for rural families

Learn more about the options for child education for your child in rural areas from childcare facilities and early learning programs to going to school.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website



Read more on CareSearch website

Victoria - BluePages

Find help in Victoria.

Read more on e-hub Web Services - Australian National University (ANU) website

Carers Victoria - Help and support

Find out more about the services that are available to support young carers in Victoria

Read more on Carers Victoria website

Women and hepatitis C: Issues Paper - Women's Health Victoria

Women's Health Victoria, an independent health promotion agency working through a clearinghouse to provide health information, advocacy and capacity building

Read more on Women's Health Victoria website

Support Groups | Diabetes Victoria

Support groups bring together people who share common experiences, conditions, concerns, goals or interests

Read more on Diabetes Australia Victoria website

In Your Area - Counterpart

Counterpart is a state-wide service and available to women across Victoria. We aim to make our services as accessible as possible to women in their own homes and communities

Read more on Counterpart - Women supporting women with cancer website

Disability services - Better Health Channel

Disability support services are provided by a mix of government, community, private and non-profit organisations.

Read more on Better Health Channel 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 Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo