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Western Australia rural and remote health services

6-minute read

Key facts

  • Living in rural and remote parts of Western Australia means that access to some health services can be more challenging.
  • It is important to be familiar with health services in your area, so that you can get help when you or a 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

Western Australia (WA) covers about a third of Australia. Most people live in and around Perth and Fremantle. With the state's emphasis on natural resources and farming, many others live in areas that are much more isolated.

Living, working and travelling in rural, regional or remote Western Australia (WA) can be exciting. But when you need health services, you need to know how to access them, no matter where you are. Planning ahead will let you be prepared for when you or a family member needs help.

What types of health services are available?

There are 6 large regional hospitals in WA and many country hospitals that offer a broad range of health services.

The WA Country Health Service provides a range of services for people living in rural and remote areas. Some of these have combined hospitals and nursing posts to meet local needs.

A nursing post (also known as a 'health centre' or 'health service') is staffed by highly skilled nurses, who provide medical services and emergency care in remote areas.

Rural Health West has a range of health services throughout WA to improve access to healthcare. Their services include ear health and chronic disease services, as well as visiting optometrists.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA also provides outreach services such as:

Your health needs can change over time, and services are available for all ages and needs, including:

Finding services and online support

Online health information can be helpful, free and quick to find. It is 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 can help connect you to clinical outpatient services. If your nearest country hospital does not have a specialist health practitioner and you need expert advice, telehealth services can help. Emergency telehealth links small hospitals with specialists in Perth via emergency videoconference calls. Your local doctor will know how to access this.

My health record

My Health Record is a secure online record of your health information. It can help improve communication between your doctor, 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.

Mental health and wellbeing

The WA Government provides a range of mental health services and support. Mental health helplines and online resources and tools are also available for when you feel isolated or need help with a new or existing mental health condition.

Farming and mining communities

Living and working in rural and remote areas involves certain risks. Accidents are common in farming communities both for workers and children. With some planning, you can help improve safety for yourself and others.

Mining can also be dangerous work. Both workers and community need to look after their safety around mining sites, and while fossicking and prospecting.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Aboriginal community health services are located throughout WA. The WA Government and other organisations also provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and programs.

Travelling to medical and health services

Travelling for medical services can be stressful and expensive. Check if you are eligible for help with travel through the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA provides emergency medical flights for people who are seriously ill or injured. They can transport you to a hospital, and they also provide inter-hospital transfers.

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 able to get help for accommodation through Ronald McDonald House.

Emergency medical help

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

You can also call the Royal Flying Doctor Service 24-hour medical and emergency help on 1800 625 800 (free call) or 08 9417 6389 (by satellite phone). They offer 24-hour emergency medical flights in many regions.

Resources and support

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

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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