Health care and social assistance – which includes hospitals, medical and other health care services, residential care services, and social assistance services – employed 852 people in East Arnhem in 2018/19, and is the region’s second largest employment sector. Health care and social assistance accounted for $129.1 million worth of output, the largest output sector outside of mining, manufacturing and construction. Since 2013/14 this sector has increased in output by 6.52% per annum, an increase of $35 million over the five year period.
For the year 2018/19, there were an estimated 852 jobs in this sector, including:
|Medical and other health care services||286 jobs|
|Residential care services||14 jobs|
|Social assistance services||295 jobs|
Gove District Hospital is a public hospital operated by Top End Health Service on behalf of the Northern Territory Government, which is nationally accredited by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. Top End Health Service is committed to providing the best standards of care to local communities with a comprehensive, well-developed, and functional range of services.
The hospital provides accident, emergency, surgery, obstetrics, medical imaging and related services to the regional population. Gove District Hospital received a $10.7 million upgrade in late 2018 involving expanded services to the emergency department and ambulatory care, including specialist outpatient services.
The Department of Health’s Specialist Outreach Services in the Northern Territory facilitate medical specialist visits to the East Arnhem region. Further details on the types of speciality services available in the remote communities of the Northern Territory can be found at health.nt.gov.au/professionals/specialist-outreach-nt-sont
CareFlight delivers the Top End Medical Retrieval Service (TEMRS) for the Northern Territory Government, servicing an area around 600,000 kilometres. Emergency department levels of care are provided to sick and injured people in remote, regional, and difficult-to-get-to environments as fast as possible.
CareFlight provides aeromedical retrieval services under the TEMRS contract to appropriate airstrips in the East Arnhem region with its fixed wing aircraft. The East Arnhem region accounts for around 34% of CareFlight’s annual retrieval workload (a total of 3,300 retrievals per annum). Operating their King Air aircraft out of its Gove base, this 24/7 service is supported by a dedicated team of eight permanent staff consisting of four pilots and four flight nurses.
In July 2020, CareFlight was appointed as the dedicated inter-hospital aeromedical evacuation jet provider for the Northern Territory Government for the next five years. To service this contract, a Gulfstream G150 jet will be introduced to the fleet representing a new generation of aeromedical retrieval service for the Northern Territory and Australia, which can also be utilised by Gove District Hospital. Plans are also under development for a Nhulunbuy-based community medical rescue helicopter to service East Arnhem. The East Arnhem Community Helicopter project would improve capability to deliver timely and reliable access in all seasons to offer equitable medical care for residents in the outstations and homelands of the region.
A number of Aboriginal community-controlled health services provide comprehensive primary health care across the Yolŋu communities and homelands of the East Arnhem region by culturally competent staff in partnership with Yolŋu. This includes through both medical clinics and regular visitation from primary health and allied health professionals.
Within Nhulunbuy, private practices provide a range of services including general practice doctors, dentistry, physiotherapy, optometry, surgical consultants, speech therapy, pediatrics, occupational therapy and more. These services are either regionally based or service the region regularly.
East Arnhem also benefits from a high standard of wellbeing and mental health support from psychologists and counsellors who reside in the region. All major communities and people of all ages can access professional and counselling services that offer assistance to a broad range of mental health conditions.