Townsville Hospital and Health Service is looking for passionate doctors to join our team. Working for us is an opportunity to be part of achieving our shared vision to be the leader in health care, research and education for regional Australia. With great work-life balance, Townsville HHS offers an idyllic coastal lifestyle with the islands, reef and rainforest the backdrop to a large urban economy.
Home to Townsville University Hospital, the largest teaching hospital in northern Australia, our clinicians have great opportunities for career advancement across a wide variety of specialties all with access to excellent professional development. As a teaching hospital, we have strong relationships with local universities, allowing our clinicians to contribute to growing the doctors of tomorrow.
Our health service prides itself on our commitment to research. With a dedicated research support unit and many internal grants available for research and education, we are delighted to be helping shape healthcare into the future.
What we offer
Working for the Townsville HHS offers vast opportunity; we cover an expansive geographical area that extends west to Richmond and Hughenden, north to Cardwell, south to Home Hill and east to Magnetic and Palm Islands. Townsville HHS caters for a wide variety of presentations with a full range of specialty and outpatient services. Our health service is home to one of only two hyperbaric medicine units in Queensland, is a hub for transfers and emergency helicopter and fixed-wing retrievals, offers experience in disaster and tropical disease management and a public health unit which coordinates and supports local, state and national public health responses. Townsville HHS is still growing, with ongoing major development activities.
We also offer:
- Work-life balance with a hospital-wide focus on wellbeing
- Opportunities to work at our rural health services
- Unique experiences with tropical and indigenous medicine
- Supportive multi-level supervision and teaching
- Professional development opportunities
- Supported research for new researchers in a purpose-built research facility
- Facilities and resources for research innovation
- Regular specialist clinical meetings for focused education
- Regular grand rounds, clinical reasoning and journal clubs
- Professional development leave and allowances
- Attractive remuneration packages for public and private practice
- Professional indemnity cover
- Employee Assistance Program and return to work specialists
- Hospital and health service library
- Clinical skills and simulation centre
- Telehealth to rural and remote facilities
- Adjacency to James Cook University with adjunct appointments available
- Proximity to Australia's largest army barracks offering unique military medicine opportunities
- Modern doctors lounge with full facilities, including quiet rest space, computer and internet access, kitchenette, showers and comfortable seating
- Free onsite car parking
- Bus stop and taxi/Uber pick up directly outside of the hospital
- Food court
You can find out more about requirements to practice, career structure, salary and training on the Queensland Health website.
Townsville Medical Staff Society (TMSS)
Our medical staff are represented by an active medical staff society which engages all levels of doctors from interns to staff specialists. The TMSS values are collegiality, advocacy, leadership and mentorship which underpin the ongoing effort for continual improvement of the working lives of our doctors, from organising social events and educational meetings to advocating for changes in hospital policy. The hospital executive and the Townsville Medical Staff Society enjoy a strong collaborative partnership working together to achieve the health service vision.
Visit the TMSS website here.
Community and lifestyle
Providing a laid-back tropical lifestyle that is complemented by capital city comforts, no other Australian city boasts the resilience, diversity and lifestyle that the North Queensland region enjoys. Known as the 'second capital' of Queensland and with a population of approximately 190,000 people, Townsville offers a dynamic lifestyle coupled with strong economic prosperity.
Townsville is a thriving precinct with access to a variety of world-class education facilities, leading-edge health care, affordable housing, unique retailing, spectacular events, sporting teams and entertainment, dining precincts and a wide range of outdoor recreation options. There is something for every member of the family, big and small. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Townsville's lifestyle is second to none.
Townsville HHS is organised into five clinical service groups. Click below to see an overview of each one.
Mental Health Service Group
The Mental Health Service Group comprises six clinical program areas and one non-clinical program area with 25 teams responsible for the provision of comprehensive, specialised mental health assessment and treatment services across the age spectrum. Services include acute inpatient care, crisis intervention, homeless outreach, specialist community teams, community integration and health rehabilitation, case management, ATODS, forensic mental health, court liaison, older persons mental health and culturally appropriate mental health services.
Health and Wellbeing Service Group
The Health and Wellbeing Service Group is comprised of a diverse collection of health services from primary health care in community settings through to acute and critical care, with health services ranging across the age spectrum from antenatal to aged care. They comprise of several large specialist workforces including maternity, neonatal, paediatrics, community health and aged care, oral and offender health and smaller specialised teams including BreastScreen, mobile women's health, urogynaecology, child protection, and sexual health.
Surgical Service Group
The Surgical Service Group provides secondary care combined with a range of tertiary services across various specialities. They deliver perioperative services including elective surgery, anaesthetics, and theatre care as well as medical imaging and other diagnostic care. They provide critical care to adults and children and offer a full range of surgical specialities, including cardiology and hyperbaric medicine. The paediatric intensive care unit is the only one of its kind north of the south-east corner.
Medical Service Group
The Medical Service Group provides services across clinical units including emergency medicine, internal medicine, neurology, gerontology, infectious diseases, endocrinology and diabetes, respiratory, gastroenterology, renal, rheumatology, rehabilitation and sub-acute care. It also includes comprehensive cancer services including medical oncology, palliative care, haematology and bone marrow transplantation and radiation oncology.
Rural Hospitals Service Group
Rural Hospitals Service Group provides services to the people of the Burdekin Shire, Charters Towers Regional Council, Flinders Shire, Hinchinbrook Shire and Richmond Shire.
Their facilities deliver a range of services including, emergency, general medicine, general surgery, obstetrics, inpatient, outpatient, primary health, community and aged care services.
You can view the full list of rural health facilities and their services here.
Education and training
Townsville University Hospital is regional Queensland's largest accredited teaching hospital, offering a diverse range of training positions across medical, nursing, allied health, health sciences and pharmacy.
The Townsville Hospital and Health Service works in partnership with several higher education providers, including James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM). We deliver cutting-edge education and training in health service delivery and health services research through our clinical education and training units.
Training positions at Townsville University Hospital provide the opportunity to work with and learn from, experts in their clinical field. It also provides access to first-class education, supervision, and research opportunities and gives hands-on experiences that link evidence theory to practice.
Clinical Education Service and Clinical Simulation Centre
Designed to support and practice development within the health service, the clinical education service fosters and facilitates a strong learning culture. Onsite training includes clinical orientation and a range of clinical education packages to best support our health professionals of all levels.
The Clinical Simulation Centre (CSC) delivers multidisciplinary skills-based learning, across the Townsville HHS, using simulation-based education.
For an example of what is available in our simulation centres through our Surgical Training Program, watch the below short video:
Townsville Research Education Support and Administration (TRESA)
Research is a priority for Townsville HHS. As a result, doctors are supported to develop their skills in this area. New researchers have access to experienced supervisors and support staff to help navigate the research process from idea conception to publication. Experienced researchers will benefit from the strong local research network, grant availability, research facilities and resources including support staff. For more information see the TRESA page.
Townsville HHS has a strong partnership with James Cook University, with medical student placements occurring from the first to sixth year. The proximity of the university offers health professional opportunities for undergraduate medical education, including adjunct appointments.
Acknowledging the importance of clinical supervision, for both students and doctors-in-training, the health service education partnerships have developed supervision resources, including a supervisors handbook and face-to-face training. We know that growing our doctors as educators is key to achieving excellence in medical education.
Townsville University Hospital also has special interest groups that link undergraduate medical students with interns, junior doctors, registrars and consultants. These include:
- Medicine Interest Network Townsville (MINT)
- Surgical Interest Group (SIG)
- Psychiatry Interest Group (INPsych) and;
- JCUMSA Obstetrics and Gynaecology Interest Group
Prevocational doctors in training
Townsville HHS is a leader in medical education and training in regional Australia. Our medical education programs focus on equipping junior doctors with the professional, clinical and pastoral support to promote safe and effective management of patients.
Medical Education & Workforce Support (MEWS)
The Medical Workforce team assists junior doctors with a range of considerations such as allocation, rostering, leave, registrations and visas. The Medical Education Unit is responsible for formal teaching programs, career decision support, RMO workshops, simulation lab sessions and running the Doctors for Doctors peer-mentoring program.
The MEWS team are dedicated to supporting the professional development and career progression for doctors in training, working together to plan rotations and help each person reach their career aspirations. Our MEWS team have completed career guidance training so they can best support the transition to a specialty pathway.
With wellbeing in mind, we have invested in educating MEWS staff in mental health first aid as we acknowledge that medical professionals need organisational support in maintaining wellbeing. Our doctors in training have access to the Australian Medical Association 'wellbeing at work' program as well as local initiatives which see wellbeing officers located within work units.
The Townsville Hospital and Health Service prides itself on its medical intern program, offering support and mentoring to the next generation of doctors. All interns have access to protected weekly intern teaching as well as a range of other weekly education meetings and regular workshops.
Formal education programs for interns include:
- Intern teaching with topics mapped to the Australian Curriculum Framework (weekly)
- Surgical intern teaching (weekly)
- Medical intern teaching (weekly)
- Emergency department teaching (weekly)
Interns are also welcome at grand rounds, clinical reasoning, journal clubs and departmental teaching.
Townsville University Hospital's mentor program, Doctors for Doctors, provides support and guidance to interns. The mentors are doctors who volunteer to take part in the program and are at various stages of their careers. The mentoring partnership offers a personal development opportunity for mentors who provide support, guidance and encouragement to interns during their first year.
Interns at Townsville University Hospital undertake five terms which include three core rotations plus one long and one short elective rotation.
Intern core rotations
Gerontology – Acute Care of the Elderly
Intern elective rotations
Acute Mental Health Unit/Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Service
Country Practice (Ingham, Palm Island, Charters Towers)
Gerontology – Geriatric Evaluation and Management
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Rehabilitation – Acute
Rehabilitation – Sub-Acute
Rural GP – Ingham Family Medical Practice
Townsville University Hospital has partnered with Mater Hospital Townsville, which allows options for rotations through both the public and private systems. Rotations at Mater Hospital are listed in the FAQ document.
The transition from intern to RMO is supported at Townsville University Hospital with education sessions on typical ward-call presentations. RMOs have access through the year to RMO workshops. In the past, these have included IDC troubleshooting, airway support, pediatric emergencies, ultrasound-guided PIVC, dermatology and chest drains.
Ear, nose and throat (ENT)
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Oral and Maxillofacial
Frequently asked questions
For more information on rotations, accommodation, educational sessions, late starts and more, please refer to the FAQ document here.
Specialty education and training
Townsville HHS prides itself on providing the highest standard of education to doctors at all stages in their career. Our specialty training is coordinated by the directors of training within departments and through the accredited specialty college fellowship programs.
Registrars are supported to achieve mandatory college training requirements through local and state initiatives such as:
- Local study groups
- Regular registrar teaching sessions
- Exam practice
- Exam leave
- Support staff for research projects
- Annual research grants for college required research projects
- Grants for conferences
Staff Specialists are supported to maintain their continuing professional development with regular grand rounds, journal clubs and departmental education.
Directors of training may be contacted via switchboard: (07) 4433 1111 (ask for departmental contacts).
To view the Clinical Supervision Handbook, click here.
If you are interested in joining our team, we would love to hear from you. Click below to see what you'll need to apply.
How to apply
Advertised vacancies for staff specialist appointments are listed on Smartjobs. We understand that you may have questions regarding available positions or wish to submit an expression of interest, you can do that by getting in touch with us here.
Registrars, principle house officers and prevocational medical officer positions are centralised through the Queensland RMO campaign, where you can find information regarding available jobs, college pathways and the application process. We know there are times where circumstances mean you need a local point of contact, and we are happy to assist both vocational and prevocational medical officers.
We understand the application process can be daunting. If you are an overseas-trained doctor looking to move to Townsville, we will do our best to support you through the process.
The Smart Jobs website is where all available current staff specialist positions are advertised. Registrar/PHO/RMO positions may be listed there outside the Queensland RMO campaign.
We welcome applications from all experienced health professionals.
You are required to:
- Obtain registration with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA), supported by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
- Provide a comparability assessment from a specialist medical college if employed as a staff specialist, specialist general practitioner or recognised advanced practitioner.
More information on requirements to practice in Queensland.
Award conditions apply – Medical Officers (Queensland Health) Award – State 2015 in conjunction with Medical Officer (Queensland Health) Certified Agreement (No.5) 2018.
- The Townsville HHS has a dedicated medical recruitment team to guide you through the recruitment process. Please note, pre-employment checks must be completed prior to an offer being made
- CV – no older than 12 months
- References – one within 12 months, the other your last place of employment
- Identification certified by a Justice of the Peace and qualification checks
- Criminal history checks
- Current registration with the Medical Board of Australia or the ability to obtain appropriate registration
- Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD) – documentary evidence is required against the following:
- Hep B – evidence of immunity, titre level >10.
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Varicella (Chicken Pox)
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
- Visa status – working rights in Australia
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information on rotations, accommodation, educational sessions, late starts and more please refer to the FAQ document here.