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North West region

North West region

Be part of a close-knit medical community enjoying the adventure of living and training in Outback Queensland.

Training in the North West region

Mount Isa Hospital, the main referral centre in Queensland’s north west, offers the clinical diversity to build skills in a welcoming and supportive team.

North West Hospital and Health Service (NWHHS) consists of one regional hospital, two multipurpose health services, three remote hospitals, four primary health clinics and five community health centres. Covering an area from North Western Queensland to the Gulf of Carpentaria, it serves the communities of Mount Isa, Burketown, Camooweal, Cloncurry, Dajarra, Doomadgee, Julia Creek, Karumba, Normanton and Mornington Island – approximately 32,000 people.

Mount Isa Hospital is a Level 4 Specialist Service Base Hospital with 80 beds. It has a 10-chair renal unit and is the telehealth hub for specialist outreach patient services across the region. It offers training opportunities in the specialties of general paediatrics, adult internal medicine, occupational and environment medicine, emergency medicine, intensive care medicine, rural generalism and general practice.

More than 16% of Mount Isa’s population identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples. In partnership with the region’s communities, the medical team in the North West works to deliver culturally appropriate care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in an effort to help close the gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

Research facilities

  • Murtupuni Centre for Rural & Remote Health (MCRRH) is based in Mount Isa. It aims to build a healthy community and a skilled workforce in and for rural and remote Queensland through education and research. It is the foundation University Department of Rural Health in Queensland.
  • Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre (TAAHC) is a collaboration between northern Queensland’s five hospital and health services, the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network, JCU and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.

NWHHS incentives

  • Rent-free furnished accommodation for the full contract period
  • A Rural and Remote Allowance of $34,500 per year (half at the completion of each six months)
  • Relocation assistance for vehicle and personal effects
  • SMOs receive an additional 15% of their base salary as a Regional and Rural Attraction Allowance for working in North West HHS

More details

Specialties in the North West

Specialty Training times Map your career

General Paediatrics – Basic Training

12 months max General Paediatric training in Mt Isa, must rotate to other sites to complete training.

Map your career in General Paediatrics

General Paediatrics - Advanced Training

12 months non core training and 12 months core training in Mt Isa, must rotate to Townsville or QLD Children’s hospital to complete other required rotations.

Map your career in Advanced Paediatrics

Adult Internal Medicine – Basic Training

6 months training in Mt Isa as a secondment from Townsville. 

Map your career in Adult Internal Medicine

Occupational and Environmental Medicine

All 42 months core training can be completed in Mount Isa (Sonic HealthPlus); however, it is strongly advised to complete this training period at more than one site.

Map your career in Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Emergency Medicine

12 months (full) provisional training and 6 months max of advanced training can be completed in Mount Isa, rotation required to other sites to complete additional 42 months advanced training, e.g Townsville.

Map your career in Emergency Medicine

Intensive Care Medicine

6 months Retrieval Medicine rotation available in Mount Isa.

Map your career in Intensive Care Medicine

Rural Generalist

Full training program available in Mount Isa, some advanced skills training not available.

Map your career in Rural Generalism

General Practice

Full training program available in Mount Isa, some advanced skills training not available.

Map your career in General Practice

Living in the North West region

The Outback mining city of Mount Isa is a family-friendly, multicultural community of about 22,000 people. Red dirt and blue skies frame the ‘Oasis of the Outback’.

A hub for fly-in-fly-out miners from throughout the region, Mount Isa is a 2.5-hour direct flight from Brisbane, a 1.75-hour flight from Townsville and a 2-hour flight from Cairns.

Mount Isa has both public and Catholic schools to Year 12, and a vibrant civic life. Mount Isa City Council hosts a Sign on Expo each February where residents can explore and join sports, arts and community organisations.

The Mount Isa Mines operation dominates the skyline of the town, which is also the major service centre for the region’s beef cattle industry.

The North Western city is probably best known as the rodeo capital of Australia – the Mount Isa Rodeo is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. As well as the bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback bronc, rope and tie, poddy riding, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and breakaway roping action, the rodeo features a street festival and live performances. It’s the biggest social event of the year in the region.

With its desert landscapes and rugged national parks, there are many places to fish, camp, relax and enjoy the outback sunset. A spectacular sandstone gorge amid lush forest, Boodjamulla National Park (Rainbow Serpent Country to its Waanyi traditional owners is a popular destination for canoeing and hiking. Its Word Heritage-listed Riversleigh fossil deposits are some of the richest in the world.

Lake Moondarra, 17km north of Mount Isa, is a popular spot for swimming, boating, canoeing and picnicking. It has also been stocked with barramundi to lure anglers for a spot of fishing. The Gulf of Carpentaria communities of Karumba and Normanton are the gateway to Queensland’s top barramundi fishing spots.  

Training in Mount Isa

Training in Mount Isa

“I’ve never felt this level of workforce morale anywhere else. You will be so included and welcomed into the Mount Isa community. You get to know your colleagues and the broader community from sporting or special interest groups, neighbours, and people you just meet about town. It’s such a friendly place to be that you could go to the pub by yourself on a Friday night if you were new to town, and you would have a group of friends by the end of the night. It's so friendly, inclusive and supportive, it's just a lovely place to be.” 

Dr Sally Magoffin on training in Mount Isa

We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the Australian lands and waters where our staff and students live, learn and work. We honour the unique cultural and spiritual relationship to the land, waters and seas of First Australian peoples and their continuing and rich contribution to James Cook University (JCU) and Australian society. We also pay respect to ancestors and Elders past, present and future.

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424