The Sunshine State is one of the biggest regions in Australia, but the sixteen Queensland health services jurisdictions ensure that every pocket is covered.
For doctors looking to study, train, migrate or settle in the Sunshine State, Queensland Health will generally be your first port of call, and has its own designated clinical career structure for those who are looking to practice medicine in the state. As a ministerial department of the Queensland Government, it’s responsible for operating the state’s public health system and is regarded as one of the oldest government departments still in operation.
Even if you’re not planning on pursuing a career in medicine, and simply identify as a Queensland local or holiday maker, it’s always a good idea to get familiar with the healthcare options in your region just in case disaster were to strike. You never know when you might need the help of a doctor or hospital, and since Queensland is such a mighty large state, it makes sense that there are sixteen separate regions covered by Queensland health services.
Your Guide To Queensland Health Services
While there are a whopping seventy seven different council areas in Queensland, not all of these regions are large enough to warrant their own hospital or area based health services. As such, the State Government allocates funding based on existing infrastructure, as well as projected population growth. The result is that Queensland is home to sixteen major health care jurisdictions, with each being home to a wide variety of medical treatment for residents and visitors alike.
Cairns And Hinterland – Not just home to crocs and crazy weather, the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) includes nine hospitals, eleven primary health sites and nine community health centres, along with mental health facilities and specialist services. This region is vast, and covers townships as far as Cairns to Croydon.
Central Queensland – Central Queensland is home to most of the state’s mining and resources industries, and the primary townships are generally regarded as Gladstone and Rockhampton. With a team of more than 3,700 medical professionals, the care provided by the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service is required to be just as diverse as it’s local residents.
Central West – Home to what are arguably some of the most isolated townships in the entire state, Central West Health services those far flung communities that reside in the outback townships close to the state borders of the Northern Territory and South Australia. Although small, the region is also home to five rural hospitals.
Children’s Health Queensland – Although technically not a local government area as such, Children’s Health Queensland puts the focus on paediatric health care for the smallest amongst us. Although mostly central to Brisbane, it’s essentially a statewide network of health services and professionals delivering world-class care for Queensland kids.
Darling Downs – Although it’s a relatively small area when compared to other local government areas in Queensland, Darling Downs Health Service requires medical practitioners to straddle the two worlds of the city and the country. With a wide variety of patient presentations on any given day, the jurisdiction is still home to a whopping twenty one hospitals.
Gold Coast – For Queenslanders residing on the southernmost point of the state – and even residents of Northern New South Wales – Gold Coast Health oversees some of the most state of the art facilities in the whole country. To cater to the booming population, the state government has also invested heavily into upgrades on existing facilities as well as new ones.
Mackay – Like many parts of Queensland, Mackay Health covers quite a diverse collection of townships. From the mining townships of Moranbah, all the way up to the seaside town of Bowen and back to Mackay city, Mackay Health oversees eight hospitals and four community health facilities all under one banner.
Metro North – Although Metro North Health covers most of the northern suburbs of Brisbane, it also stretches as far as regional township hubs near the Kilcoy area. Along with a range of allied health and community based healthcare, Metro North Health also manages five hospitals, including the busy Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Metro South – In comparison to Metro North, Metro South Health is the major provider of public health services on Brisbane’s southside, covering the Logan, Redlands and Scenic Rim regions. Employing more than 13,000 staff who provide specialist health care to a population of more than one million people, Metro South covers a whopping 23% of Queensland’s population.
North West – Servicing the heart of the Outback, North West health care professionals forge close partnerships and work closely with remote communities to improve the health of people across North West Queensland, covering Mount Isa, Cloncurry, and many of the isolated indigenous communities that call this part of the state home.
South West – Home to four hospitals, seven multipurpose health services, four community clinics, two aged care facilities and nine general practice services, South West Health also covers an incredibly remote part of the state – except this time, it’s working with border communities that reside closer to New South Wales and South Australia.
Sunshine Coast – Much like Gold Coast Health, Sunshine Coast Health covers one of the most densely populated parts of the state and is in turn receiving significant investment, funding and upgrades thanks to the state government. The primary point of difference though is much more regional health care is required, with their area covering as far as Gympie and Kilkivan.
Torres And Cape – The Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (HHS) is responsible for the health services of approximately 27,000 people widely spread across Cape York, the Northern Peninsula Area and the Torres Strait Islands. 64% of the population in the HHS identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, and in turn need more diverse health care options.
Townsville – As one of the major hubs of North Queensland, Townsville Health covers coastal communities on the road north as well as regional centres such as Charters Towers and Richmond. Although home to a number of community based health services, Townsville University Hospital is currently undergoing a $484.2 million redevelopment to bolster this.
West Moreton – Not quite the city and not quite the country, West Moreton Health is home to five hospitals, a wide range of allied and community health care services, and also oversees The Park Centre for Mental Health. Although most regions are less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane, West Moreton significantly helps to alleviate pressure on the state’s biggest hospitals.
Wide Bay – Taking over where Sunshine Coast Health finishes, Wide Bay Health is home to six hospitals, with Bundaberg being the next in line for a significant upgrade thanks to funding from the state government. With the area’s main townships being Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough, there’s also many community health outlets to service smaller rural hamlets.
It’s no secret that Queensland is currently experiencing an unprecedented interstate migration boom. The global pandemic has changed the way we work, live and play, and when compared to our southern neighbours, Queenslanders have had it relatively lax in terms of lockdowns and social distancing restrictions when compared to other major capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Of course, the weather usually helps too.
While the Queensland state government has invested heavily into ensuring that our hospitals can handle this population growth, it’s important to remember that community and allied healthcare also have a role to play too. Primary health care makes up an enormous part of both Queensland and Australia’s overall medical system – so much so, that 4 in 5 Australians have seen a general practitioner in 2021 alone. Many people are surprised to learn that primary health care receives approximately 35% of the nation’s total annual health funding, compared to 39% that goes towards hospitals. Ultimately, both systems work hand in hand together to ensure that the health of every Australian is where it should be.
Working In Primary Health Care In Queensland
If you’re on the hunt for a locum doctor role in the Sunshine State, there’s a chance that you’ll either want to work a little, a lot – or somewhere in between. Queensland based opportunities with House Call Doctor offer flexibility, with shifts that fit around your current workload, personal commitments, or even just lifestyle preferences.
Whether you’re looking to increase your earning potential, gain experience, or even just have a desire for greater job satisfaction, opportunities with House Call Doctor offer local medical practitioners a chance to explore what out of hours and locum healthcare is like, while still retaining a sense of freedom and flexibility. If you’re looking for an opportunity to broaden your career horizons, are you –
- An Australian or Internationally Trained Medical Graduate
- Have full registration with the Medical Board of Australia
- Have two years post graduate experience, including experience in paediatrics, accident and emergency, general medicine and surgery
If you can answer yes to all of the above, then why not consider registering your interest for locum general practitioner doctor jobs with House Call Doctor today, and be a part of the medical revolution.