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Access for regional and remote Queenslanders

The scheme will ensure people living in regional, rural and remote Queensland are supported and have fair and equitable access to voluntary assisted dying.

To support communities in these areas where there may be fewer medical practitioners, the law includes a number of provisions. These relate to:

  • medical practitioner eligibility
  • enabling nurse practitioners and registered nurses to act as an administering practitioner in areas with fewer medical practitioners
  • supply of the substance via a Statewide Pharmacy Service and
  • a Statewide Care Navigator Service to support and provide information across Queensland.

A key consideration for delivering health services in regional, rural and remote communities is access to telehealth services. The Commonwealth Criminal Code makes it an offence to use a ‘carriage service’ (such as a telephone, videoconference, email or other forms of electronic communication) to publish or distribute material that counsels or incites committing or attempting to commit suicide.

The Queensland Government has sought support from the Australian Government to urgently amend the Commonwealth laws. This will allow practitioners involved in the scheme to discuss voluntary assisted dying through telehealth, providing access to people in rural and remote areas of Queensland. The Queensland Government will continue consultation with the Australian Government to address this matter with the aim of ensuring people in regional and remote areas of Queensland can access information and support via telehealth.

Work will be done during implementation to ensure people living in regional and remote communities have equal access to the scheme.

Last updated: 17 September 2021