the norfolk island hospital


The hospital is a body corporate established under the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985. The Norfolk Island Government financially subsidises the Hospital to help it deliver high quality health services to both the local community and tourists.

The buildings

The hospital was built in 1949 and has been added to and improved ever since then. It has 24 beds and includes, acute medical/surgical, an intensive care unit, 2 bed maternity unit, accident and emergency, early childhood, theatre, outpatients, pathology, x-ray, pharmacy, physiotherapy, dental, haemodialysis and aged care units. In a separate building, there is a new, modern 2-chair dental unit.  The community has shown great support to the hospital over many years and generous donations have provided the Mawson Units, Physiotherapy, Dental Unit, Emily Channer District Nursing Service, St John Ambulance.

What health care does the hospital provide?

The hospital is the only provider of health services on the island and gives a 24-hour service. The services are of a very high quality and are far more extensive than in a community of similar size in Australia. The hospital is able to provide such surgery as general surgery, ENT surgery, minor Orthopaedics, Urology and Gynaecology and Gastroenterology. The surgery is done by the local doctors. Visiting specialists to the Island also assist in many of these areas. The hospital continues to provide low risk obstetric services and is able to do emergency caesareans. Three haemodialysis machines provide haemodialysis for local patients. A Generalist Counsellor provides a wide range of Counselling services to the community.

The Enterprise employs a Director who has administrative responsibility for day to day management of the Enterprise, a Hospital Advisory Board, highly experienced medical and nursing personnel as well as allied health and administrative personnel. There are two full time and one part time doctors. A wide range of visiting specialists provides services to Norfolk on an annual or biannual basis. As well as these, we have the benefit of visiting podiatrists and chiropractors. Medical staff are recruited from Australia or New Zealand and must be fully registered in either Australia or New Zealand. The two doctor positions are a GP/Surgeon/Obstetrician and GP/Anaesthetist/Obstetrician. All clinical staff, nurses, physiotherapist, radiographer, medical scientist, dentist, pharmacist and counsellor must have either Australian or New Zealand registration.


There is no Medicare available on Norfolk Island and the local Norfolk Island health insurance is through Healthcare. Healthcare is managed by the Administration on the island. All adult residents on Norfolk Island pay an annual  levy. If your health fees exceed the limit in one financial year then Healthcare covers all medical costs over that amount. The private health insurer is Southern Cross – a New Zealand based company. There is no Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme available. An extra  levy has been introduced to fund emergency medical evacuations from the Island. If you have to be evacuated for medical reasons, there is still a cost to the patient.


Ambulance services are provided by St John trained volunteers and the vehicle is garaged and serviced by the Hospital.

Aged care

The aged care unit provides a homelike atmosphere staffed by a full time Aged Care Co-ordinator and other staff.  An aged care bus lets the staff take the residents on outings. The physiotherapist has developed individual programs for aged people in the community and the Aged Care Unit. The hospital also provides hostel type accommodation in the hospital grounds for aged residents who are still able to care for themselves, but who need to be close to medical care. A District Nurse visits elderly living at home three days a week.

There is a lot of community support for the hospital. Service clubs and the Hospital Auxiliary are extremely generous in supporting the hospital and this has allowed specialist equipment to be bought.


The Administration of Norfolk Island