Visitors to our region
Travel restrictions in response to COVID-19 pandemic
The Queensland Government has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in remote communities to implement a three-stage plan to safely ease restrictions in designated areas (PDF, 125 KB).
Under this plan, designated areas have transitioned from the Commonwealth bio-security arrangements to state-based arrangements (under the Queensland Chief Health Officer public health directions).
Please visit the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnership’s web page for more information.
Our region covers over 158,000km2 across 13 local government areas. From Wujal Wujal (north of Cairns) right across the Cape to Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw, heading north including Weipa and Lockhart River, stretching through to the 'tip' at the Northern Peninsula Area and then the Torres Strait Islands.
If not entitled to reciprocal health care agreements through Medicare in Australia, please advise at reception area of the medical facility. Payment of the account maybe required at the time of consultation.
Visitors to our region should be prepared with a plentiful supply of routine prescription medications when traveling in our remote communities. If you need routine prescriptions medication it is recommended you obtain further supplies at least two weeks before you are due to run out.
In most of our communities there is no community pharmacy available, therefore options are provided below for the location you are visiting.
Cape York region
There are 2 community pharmacies in the Cape York region that offer a full prescription dispensing service and a wide range of over-the-counter medicines, with EFTPOS payment facilities available.
- Eastern communities, such as Lockhart River, Coen, Hopevale, Laura, Cooktown and Wujal Wujal, are routinely serviced by the Alive Discount Pharmacy, located at 100 Charlotte St, Cooktown.
- Western communities, such as Mapoon, Weipa, Napranum, Aurukun, Kowanyama, Pompuraaw, are routinely serviced by the Cape York Guardian Pharmacy, located at Commercial Avenue, Heritage Shopping Centre, Weipa.
If you need a prescription medicine you will need to:
- Attend the pharmacy in person with your prescriptions, or
- Phone the nearest pharmacy to request the medicines be freighted (for a fee) to your location.
- You must supply original prescriptions and pay the usual PBS prescription co-payments (and freight if applicable).
If your prescriptions are lost or missing, you may contact the pharmacy and your regular doctor to request a prescription be sent directly from the doctor to the pharmacy for dispensing.
Medication will not be supplied without payment or original prescription (photocopied or email prescriptions will not be accepted).
Due to our remote location and depending on the medication required, it may take up to 4 working days for the pharmacy to obtain the medication then up to a further seven days for delivery to a remote location.
Torres Strait Islands and the Northern Peninsula Area
Northern Peninsula Area (NPA)
The NPA has a community pharmacy, located at 105 Adidi Street, Bamaga, ph (07) 4083 0224, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opened from 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Thursday and closes at 3pm on Fridays. It is closed on weekends and on all public holidays.
Thursday Island has a community pharmacy, located at 96 Douglas Street, ph (07) 4069 1411
Opened from 9am to 5:15pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12:30pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and on all public holidays.
They offer a full prescription service however be aware that due to the remote location and depending on the medication required, it may take up to seven days.
Torres Strait Islands (excluding Thursday Island)
There is no community pharmacy on any of the outer islands of the Torres Strait. If you are a visitor who needs prescription medication you will need to:
- Contact your regular doctor and request them to fax / email a copy of a new prescription to Thursday Island Pharmacy, fax: 07 4069 1055, email: email@example.com
- Contact Thursday Island Pharmacy to ensure they have received the prescription and arrange for payment. You will be required to pay for:
- freight charges
Please be aware that due to the remote location and depending on the medication required, it may take up to seven working days.
Health facilities and services available within our region
Click on the image to download an Interactive map (PDF, 1MB) to locate our Health Service facilities in the many communities around Cape York and the Torres Straits.