Healthcare & Social Services

family doctor

Whole of life care is a priority to best support our residents, requiring additional health and social service workers across the region.

The Western Downs is serviced by high quality public and private health care providers. Workforce shortages are a limiting factor to deliver essential services and expand health care provisions across the region, to enable whole of life care for our residents. 


Effective and quality local health care services require a strong, appropriately skilled health care workforce. As population growth has increased in the Western Downs, this workforce has not had capacity to keep up with demand. 

Improving the provision of health care services across the region would enhance the whole of life care provided to Western Downs residents and meet social standards currently provided to Australians in metropolitan areas.

The Issue

The Western Downs has clearly identified gaps in the provision of Health Care Services and the Health Care workforce levels across the region. Findings from Deloitte Access Economics Workforce Gap Analysis(PDF, 659KB) for the Western Downs region in August 2021 show a gap of 110 healthcare workers. This gap is forecasted to grow to 334 over the next 10 years.  The lack of available workers limits the delivery of numerous essential services to the community, resulting in poorer health outcomes for our people.

Many residents are unable to access the health care they require locally. Distance often excludes residents from attending appointments due to the inability to access transport and costs associated if longer stays are required. Those who do travel must often seek treatment without their support network. Additionally, insufficient digital connectivity limits residents from being able to access these services online.

Desired Outcome

Increased subsidies and funding are required to attract and retain medical health professionals to live and work in regional areas.  

Increased local health care and social assistance services will positively contribute to increased wellbeing and illness prevention, significantly contributing to liveability in the region.