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Department of Health, Western Australia > WA Country Health Service >

Kimberley


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The Kimberley is Western Australia's most northern region, with coastline facing the Indian Ocean to the west and the Timor Sea to the north. The region covers a sixth of the State’s total landmass, bordered by the Great Sandy Desert in the south and the Northern Territory in the east.

The vast and versatile geography of the Kimberley is a major attraction for tourists, with spectacular natural features including arid desert, gorges, sandy beaches, escarpments, rainforests, waterfalls, open plains, river valleys and cave systems.

The age distribution of the Kimberley population is younger than the State average, with more than 30% under 15.  This reflects the demographics of Aboriginal Australia as well as the predominance of young families who come to work in the Kimberley. Nearly a third of the Kimberley population is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and there are hundreds of Aboriginal communities scattered throughout the region, together with almost 100 pastoral stations.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 349,000 people visited the Kimberley in 1996/97, with the numbers having grown by up to 6% a year in recent years.  The peak months for tourism are between May and October, which impacts significantly on health services in the region and cannot be understated.

As with most rural and remote regions, there are few private medical practitioners in the Kimberley, with almost all GPs and specialists employed by hospitals, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) or the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Specialist services are provided from the larger region centres and where necessary, patients are flown to Perth or Darwin for treatment that cannot be provided by regional-based or supplementary visiting specialists.

Health leaders in the Kimberley place a strong emphasis on working collaboratively to share resources, to develop a strong health promotion and illness prevention focus. For example, funding has been provided to local shires to employ Aboriginal environmental health workers who work with remote communities to improve environmental health conditions. This is critically important as limiting early childhood exposure to disease-causing environmental hazards can markedly reduce the risks and burdens, in later life, of severe illnesses, such as renal disease.

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Contact Information:

Location:  Unit 4, 9 Napier Terrace, Broome WA 6725
Postal Address:  Locked Bag 4011, Broome WA 6725
Phone:  08 9194 1615
Fax:  08 9194 1666
This unit last updated: 28 Mar 2012, 11:47am


Units reporting to Kimberley:


Hospital Services

 ·  Broome Health Campus
 ·  Derby Hospital
 ·  Fitzroy Crossing Hospital
 ·  Halls Creek Hospital
 ·  Kununurra Hospital
 ·  Wyndham Hospital

Aged Care Services

 ·  Kimberley Aged and Community Services (KACS) Indicates there are units responsible to Kimberley Aged and Community Services (KACS)

Community & Public Health Services

 ·  Broome Community Health Service
 ·  Derby Community Health Service
 ·  Fitzroy Crossing Community Health Service
 ·  Halls Creek Community Health Service
 ·  Kimberley Population Health Unit Indicates there are units responsible to Kimberley Population Health Unit
 ·  Kimberley Remote Area Health - East Indicates there are units responsible to Kimberley Remote Area Health - East
 ·  Kimberley Remote Area Health - West Indicates there are units responsible to Kimberley Remote Area Health - West
 ·  Kununurra Community Health Service
 ·  Wyndham Community Health Service

Mental Health Services

 ·  Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service Indicates there are units responsible to Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service