Here is the ultimate guide for locum doctor in Queensland. Many people holiday and frequently choose to stay on to live in Queensland thanks to the consistently hot tropical weather and famous beaches Australia is so well known for both here and abroad. But It could also be a perfect choice for a locum doctor.
This is the second-largest state in the commonwealth by land size and boasts almost 7,000km of coastline. This is the fastest-growing population in Australia. Predominantly due to migration, and with 20% of Australia’s residents now calling it home. The state population is well over 5 million. Most are seniors, this burgeoning group has grown on average more than three times faster than the rest of the population over the last 10 years.
SO WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT BEING A LOCUM DOCTOR IN QUEENSLAND?
Not to mention the wonder of the largest coral reef system in the world (Great Barrier Reef) which extends alongside much of the expansive Eastern shores. Due to a large reliance on tourism, the states’ beaches and coastal areas provide excellent services and facilities to cater for this. And this is indeed why many people return to time and again to the state.
Queensland has more to offer than just beaches and aquatic adventures. The further north you venture the more danger that lurks in seemingly beautiful pristine seaside waterways and inlets. So much so that you might choose to venture inland to watering holes, springs, and waterfalls for much-needed relief from the heat. Just watch for the crocodiles in those inland rivers!
16 Hospital and Health Services
Queensland Health operates the public health services in Queensland state. These are provided through 16 Hospital and Health Services (HHS). Each of them governed by a Hospital and Health Board. These individual organisations are also statutory bodies. Some of those services are also provided by private providers, and these are funded by individuals directly as well as sometimes partly reimbursed through health insurance schemes.
Alphabetically, the 16 jurisdictions are as follows:
- Cairns and Hinterland
- Central Queensland
- Central West
- Children’s Health QLD (predominately metro services operating out of Qld Children’s Hospital, Jacaranda Place and Ellen Barron Centre)
- Darling Downs
- Gold Coast
- Metro North
- North West
- South West
- Sunshine Coast
- Torres and Cape
- West Moreton
- Wide Bay
To find out more about these areas check out the Queensland health website.
The Department of Health manages the public health system in Queensland, including the performance of HHS. The Department of Health and each HHS will negotiate service agreements. The service agreement will determine how much it will pay, for the provision of the services the department purchases from HHS. (Such as the level of funding to be provided).
Geography of the Queensland health system
Around the metro centre and state capital city of Brisbane are the most densely populated areas. And the coverage of the Hospital and Health Services Metro North and South, Gold Coast down to the border of NSW, West Moreton to the West of the city, and Darling Downs are inland, and then to the north the Sunshine Coast. South West, Central West, and North West are all inland. And except for North West are all without any coastline or beaches at all! Beautiful mountains and remote farming territory dominate much of these areas. Then the remaining HHS areas are coastal-based bodies. Dominating the north up from Wide Bay, Central Qld, Mackay, Townsville, then Cairns, and Hinterland.
As you get further away from Brisbane the areas cover larger geographic expanses, that are less densely populated. Right up to the tip far north of the country with the Torres and Cape. Which are tropical rainforest regions and extremely remote areas of outstanding natural beauty.
For more colourful detail on quirky and remote Queensland locations like Injune, a tiny town of 500 people. Or Quilpie with no more than 600 residents. For somewhere a touch more accessible, regional Kingaroy is just a few hours’ drive from Brisbane.
Check out our popular locum locations blogs.
Credentialing B45 Locum health agreement
Much like NSW Health, Queensland Health requires an agreement to be in situ with locum agencies to provide access to employment opportunities. So, if you have your heart set on a particular area ensure that you have an agency that can place you within that Hospital and Health Board.
This is essentially a human resources policy developed by Qld Health. The purpose is to support locum doctors in Queensland and the employment and conditions, contracting, and procurement practices. Needless to say, feel free to have a read of this document. You could familiarise yourself with the policies and requirements in place to help you undertaking this kind of opportunity in the state.
What type of work is there for locums in Queensland?
As with most of the posts available, the metro centres whilst they have positions available are less well remunerated than the more remote opportunities. Also as is the case the pay and demand increase with the wider the range of qualifications and skillset you might possess.
The benefit of having your agency manage your payment is more flexibility. How you want to receive it, by whatever means, and how frequently. Weekly through fortnightly or even monthly depending on the length of position is common and straightforward. Pay rates are inclusive of super in Queensland. So bear in mind if you’re coming perhaps from NSW where that can differ.
Opportunities are frequent and there’s a lot of work available from just a short distance out of the city. And then more the further afield you want to venture. As mentioned, coastal towns and districts are popular spots. But of course, there are plenty of inland positions set in areas of outstanding natural beauty. There’s a lot to see and do in the state. So if you’re looking for a change of scenery and excited by new surroundings, this is definitely an option to be considered.
With almost as many private hospitals as public services in Queensland, private sector opportunities do exist. And we have many relationships to tap into these here. It’s worth noting that if you are contracted to Queensland Health public system at any level, you can’t also do locum shifts in the state at the same time. So there is an option to work within the private sector at the same time. Or any of those in this position choose to travel interstate to be able to locum. Where these rules don’t apply. This includes coming from other states to take holidays with family. Or have a break from the day job by doing locum doctor jobs elsewhere.
TRAVEL & LOGISITICS
As a tourist and seasonal state, locum jobs get more in need over calendar holidays and regular break periods such as Christmas, Easter, and the summer months. Typically anywhere with a distance that requires flying would be needed for usually a minimum of 5-7 days. Other locations that can be accessed by driving for a few hours exist for shorter posts, and up and down the coast.
Again a little differently to NSW, the shifts and rosters are usually organised only a week or so before the posting occurs. So it’s unlikely you will have this information before need to lock in your commitment. We do liaise closely with the workforce teams and get a good level of information. And have past experience and responses to use as a benchmark. But it’s just the way the rosters are managed within the departments. So if this is something you are keen to manage, be sure to provide your preferences upfront. So they can attempt to be accommodated as much as possible.
General health of Queenslanders administration
Health challenges include overweight and obesity, smoking, alcohol-related consumption. Also co-morbidities with average life expectancies sitting at around age 80 for males and age 84 for females. The top 3 leading risk factors for disease in Queensland include smoking, poor diet, and overweight/obesity. There are also almost 5% indigenous people residing in Queensland. So a focus on supporting their needs through the health system. Increasingly in remote and rural areas will likely play a part in any healthcare professional role required in the state. And expected more so the further into the rural and remote areas and small towns. The crude hospitalisation rate for Indigenous Queenslanders increased by 51% over a decade. In contrast to a 29% increase for non-Indigenous Queenslanders. If you’re interested in general health statistics and the insights of Queensland’s health in more detail, check out the Chief Health Officer’s report.