Healthcare professionals support people in Northern Queensland living in regional cities, rural towns and remote areas like the Torres Strait Islands.

We know that people can get sick at any time, so it is important that they can get healthcare 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

This is why Northern Queensland PHN has a team devoted to helping you deliver after hours care to your patients.

The After Hours team works closely with our Practice Support staff to offer the following:

Support for GP practices:

  • Accessing the After Hours GP Practice Incentive Payment (AH-PIP) – see below for details
  • Purpose-specific grants for practices to satisfy priority un-met needs – especially hard-to-reach groups such as the homeless or people with serious mental illness
  • Information resources to help your patients make good decisions when seeking after hours care – for example, brochures, patient information templates, promotion of the National Health Services Directory (NHSD)
  • Training for practice staff in preparing Anticipatory Care Plans for patients at high risk of after-hours presentations.

We also work closely with a range of key healthcare providers wanting to improve access to high-quality care in the out-of-hours period, including:

  • Local GP practices
  • Pharmacies
  • Queensland Ambulance Service
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • Hospital and Health Services
  • Mental Health Service providers
  • Local Government
  • HealthDirect – phone-based advisory services (

About the After Hours Practice Incentive Payments (PIP) for GP practices

New funding arrangements for after-hours service provision were implemented on 1 July 2015 including a new Practice Incentive Payment scheme for eligible general practices.

The role of Primary Health Networks

PHNs will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of after-hours care with a focus on those who are currently missing out.

Northern Queensland PHN will be using our annual needs assessment to determine where we need to be allocating funding to providers through competitive tendering processes.

Our vast catchment requires us to be very mindful of the different needs of the communities we serve, and we must pay particular attention to those people at greatest risk.

The After Hours team will undertake:

  1. GP Capacity Building: Building the capacity of General Practice and associated primary care providers to deliver high quality after-hours care
  2. Health Systems Development: Supporting collaborations between After Hours providers to improve the overall system of care operating in the after-hours period (General Practice, Ambulance, hospital’s Emergency Department, Pharmacy etc).
  3. Commissioning: Using PHN-held funds, where available, to procure additional After Hours services to satisfy priority unmet needs, through competitive tendering processes.


Funding opportunities

Registration on eTENDERING is essential to be able to apply for funding.

To view all NQPHN’s current funding opportunities, visit

Sick After Hours

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) launched a major new behaviour change campaign in June 2018 which aims to help people consider other healthcare options than Emergency Departments (EDs) as their first choice.

The campaign aims to reduce ED presentations across the NQPHN region for non-urgent and non-life-threatening situations using an educational approach to increase people’s understanding of the full range of primary healthcare services available to them.

The campaign, which was rolled out across Cairns, Townsville, and Mackay, directs people to the Sick After Hours website where they can:

  • access the Health Direct online symptom-checker
  • phone 13 HEALTH
  • find a GP using the National Health Service Directory
  • plan for next time someone in their household needs medical help and advice.

Sick or injured after hours? Visit for more information.

Download Sick After Hours poster