The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service community includes people who live with disabilities and are unique in their experience, knowledge, skills, interests, and talents. We are committed to health equity for all people in our community, providing quality health care and accessibility for people with disabilities to achieve their best health and wellbeing.

We are developing a Disability Service Plan, which aligns with the Department of Health Disability Service Plan 2022-2024. This will help us to improve the health care we provide people with a disability, improve health equity and accessibility, and build an inclusive health care workforce and service.

Visiting our facilities

When you visit our facilities, please make use of the resources available to assist you. This includes:

  • Wheelchair accessible and disability parking spaces located around all of our facilities. This includes the disability parking spaces beside the elevators on all levels of the E-Block parking lot of Cairns Hospital.
  • Maps and directions.
  • Volunteer-run directory and assistance services at many of our facilities.
  • Short term drop-off and pick-up zones accessible to people using modified vehicles.
  • Grab rails and level access to bathrooms and toilets.

Coming to hospital

We recognise that each person has individual needs. Please tell us if you, your family member, or client have any disability requirements. This helps us provide better care, and could include:

  • having a carer or support person with you
  • if you need an interpreter or have communication difficulties
  • if you need disability equipment (such as hoists)
  • if a phone or telehealth appointment is possible
  • asking if your carer can stay overnight
  • if you can bring your own food
  • if you have severe difficulty waiting (fear/distress/discomfort)
  • if you need help for meals, showering or self-care.

Please share any care documents which tell us about your care needs – this could include your copy of the Julian's Key Health Passport or a positive behaviour support plan.


The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides support for Australians with disability, their families and carers. Read more about the NDIS.

It can be useful to tell us if you are a NDIS participant. Feel free to remind our staff to update your medical records.

Your consent is required for NDIS and our health service to share your information. This helps us to make sure that both your health and disability needs are considered in your care, and important information is provided across the health team and the NDIS support providers assisting you. It will also help to coordinate your discharge with NDIS services.

NDIS and hospitals share a pathway to support people with a disability. This pathway is different to the NDIS national delivery pathway used in the community, although it achieves the same goals. If you experience permanent functional change during your hospital admission that will impact your discharge plans, the hospital pathway can help to provide a new support plan.

We are dedicated to supporting the connection between the NDIS and our health service. We will do this by improving capacity across our workforce, by supporting patient flow across our facilities and strengthening our networks with external stakeholders.

Hospital admission and home again

Hospital can be a confronting place for anybody. There are a variety of resources to help people with a disability and their significant others to prepare for hospital and manage their needs during a hospital admission.

Julian's Key Health Passport is an initiative of Metro South Hospital and Health Service. This booklet will be available in app form soon. Julian’s Key can be filled with information about a person and their health care needs. This resource is particularly recommended as a communication and information tool, for people with a disability who experience intellectual or cognitive impairment, communication difficulties, psychosocial needs and/or multiple disabilities.

National Disability Services (NDS) is Australia's peak body for disability service organisations, representing more than 1000 service providers. NDS Ready to go Home Resources are useful for the entire hospital journey.

The Summer Foundation is an organisation which advocates, researches and develops programs and training to help the disability, health, and aged care systems to work together for people with a disability. They have resources about hospital, special disability accommodation, navigating the NDIS, choosing a support coordinator, as well as the Reasonable and Necessary podcast series.


We welcome feedback about our services from people with a disability, carers and support workers. Your feedback helps us improve our care. Find out how to provide feedback.

Free advocacy services help people with disability to make decisions and resolve issues with services, including health services.

Last updated: May 2024