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Tennant Creek Hospital

Clinic Profile

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Tennant Creek Hospital is located on Schmidt Street in Tennant Creek, the only town of any size in the Barkly Tablelands of some 300,000 square kilometres.

John Flynn Scholars and GP Registrars

Approximately 3900 in the township. The population mix across the region is 50% Aboriginal and 50% non-Aboriginal.

Major Language Groups
Many Aboriginal people speak several different languages with English frequently being a third or even fourth language. The two main clan groups are Waramungu and Walpiri, other main languages in the region are Walmanpa, Alyawarra, Kaytete, Wambaya and Jingili.

Access via Road
Tennant Creek is approximately 510km North of Alice Springs, 670km South of Katherine and 990km South of Darwin on the sealed Stuart Highway. Access to outstations is via dirt roads and 4WD is recommended and provided for outstation visits.

Access via Air
Fly Tiwi flies from Darwin to Tennant Creek and Vincent Aviation flies from Alice Springs to Tennant Creek.

Seasonal Access
Access year round

Outstations Serviced
Kalumparlpa (Blue Bush), Mungalawurru, Warrego, Wgayala, Rockhampton Downs, Mutalki, Nguyarrmini, Munkarta, Kalinjarra and Greenwood.

Health Centre Information
Facilities and rooms: Tennant Creek Hospital is a modern 20 bed (17 adult /3 child) acute care facility, with an attached 8 chair renal unit which provides a dialysis service to the Barkly Region. The hospital has Accident and Emergency Department, General Ward, Paediatric Ward, Maternity Ward and Operating Theatres. A small but well-equipped library is also available.

Staff: Currently the hospital is staffed by five Prevocational Doctors and twelve nurses plus other support staff like transport officer, interpreter, etc.  There are five full-time medical officers who work in both the hospital and remote areas.

Community Programs
Immunisation Clinics
School Health
Child Health
Parent craft
Women’s Health
Men’s Health
Palliative Care
Aged Care Assessment
Drug & Alcohol Services
Indigenous Health
Health Promotion/Prevention

Allied Health Professionals including Radiographer, Laboratory Manager, Pathologist, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist and Dietician/Nutritionist also work at the hospital.

Visiting Specialists
Specialists in major disciplines visit Tennant Creek on a regular basis, who provide services in General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Thoracic Medicine, Renal Medicine, Anaesthetics, Orthopaedics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Paediatrics and Psychiatry. These specialists also provide consultations by phone when backup is required by local medical officers.

Critically ill patients or those requiring specialist treatment not available in Tennant Creek are normally transferred to Alice Springs Hospital by air. The patient’s evacuation is organized by Air Med flight.

Open Times

Contact Details
Tennant Creek Hospital
PO Box 346, Tennant Creek NT 0861
Schmidt Street, Tennant Creek NT 0860
P: (08) 8962 4399 | F: (08) 8962 4311
E: timothy.metcalf@nt.gov.au

Additional information       
Tennant Creek Hospital works closely with the local General Practitioner and Aboriginal Health Organisations, and with rural and remote sections of the Barkly Health Services, under the governing strategic plan entitled Building Healthier Communities.

Training Details (info for trainees)
Tennant Creek hospital offers an interesting and challenging range of experiences in remote and Indigenous medicine; both on the ward and in ED, for the four to five Doctors on staff. There is ample opportunity to develop hands-on diagnostic and procedural skills in emergency medicine, paediatrics and acute medical ward care. The hospital is a teaching unit for Flinders University with a regular teaching program in association with the local RFDS and Aboriginal Medical Service Doctors.

Useful Links

Community Profile

Community Information
Tennant Creek is the fifth largest town in the Northern Territory and is situated in the Barkly region, an area larger than Victoria or New Zealand. The town is surrounded to the East by the Barkly Tablelands, a huge expanse of land between the tropical ‘Top End’ and the arid ‘Red Centre’ that consists largely of open grass plains with scattered cattle stations, mines and Indigenous communities. The traditional owners of the area surrounding Tennant Creek are the Warumungu people and their culture is very much alive and well. Tennant Creek is also the centre of the rich pastoral industry of central Australia.

Tennant Creek is known as the ‘Golden Heart of the Northern Territory’, a name that refers to the warm personalities of its people and because it is the site of Australia’s last major gold rush in the 1930s. People initially looked for gold in quartz, but it wasn’t until the early 1930s that they discovered that the gold was still in the ironstone. The town’s gold mining historical reputation remains and is captured at sites around the town such as the Battery Hill Mining Centre. It is thought that there is still plenty of gold to be found and mining for this and other valuable minerals, like manganese and copper, remains a vital economic contributor for the region. Until the 1930s gold rush era, the repeater station, built in 1872 for the Overland Telegraph Line, was the only building that stood in this area, alongside the creek. The Telegraph Station is located 11km North of the town and travellers can explore the buildings and grounds to get a feel for life there 130 years ago.

Art & Culture
Nyinkka Nyunyu Cultural Centre offers an insight into the culture of the local Aboriginal people, including Aboriginal artifacts, paintings, bush tucker and dance performances.  The Tuxworth-Fullwood Museum is a National Trust museum that includes hundreds of photographs of the town and its pioneers, the old jailhouse and a typical miner’s camp.

For more information, please visit:
Anyinginyi Arts & Crafts
Barkly Regional Arts
Julalikari Arts – Aboriginal immersive Arts Centre

City/Shire Council
Barkly Shire Council
Central Land Council

Local & Govt Services
Kindergarten to year 12, Tennant Creek Public School and Tennant Creek High School.

Tennant Creek has all the facilities and amenities expected of an established outback town, such as several pubs and clubs, shopping strip, supermarket, gymnasium, sports grounds, library and a swimming pool.

Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve (114km South of Tennant Creek) is the region’s most spectacular landmark with thousands of huge, precariously balanced boulders. Mary Ann Dam (5km North East of the town) is a great recreation spot for swimming, barbecues, picnics or bush walks. Another popular spot is the Davenport Ranges National Park.

Telecommunications reception and internet access
Full mobile reception and internet access facilities.

Permits required ie camping, alcohol, beach etc
Permits are required to access to all outstations and communities outside the Tennant Creek town region.

Tennant Creek is not a dry community, alcohol is served by two hotels/pubs and there are also sports clubs and a memorial club which require membership. No take away alcohol is served in Tennant Creek on a Thursday. For more information, please visit: Tennant Creek Liquor Supply Plan

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