The Autralian bush - the heart of Australian folklore and a fascinating attraction for tourists, whether from within Australia or other countries - does not enjoy the same attraction for professionals across a range of industries including health, where there is a chronic shortage of human resources. Whilst data vary considerably between regions, in many cases, Australians from rural and remote regions have a lower health status than the overall population. This is particularly true of the population of Indigenous origin. There are about 250 medical practitioners for 100 000 people in Australia. This number varies between about 300 in the capital cities and just over 100 in the remote areas, the latter being mostly general practioners as there are hardly any hospitals and specialists in those remote areas. The data change across professions - for example the number of nurses is about the same in capital cities and in remote areas : about 1000 full time equivalent for 100, 000 people. They change too when we consider rural regions that are less or not isolated : in some instances, these are less supplied than remote areas, where access to care however remains more critical because of distance. The demographic profile of the professions examined in this paper also vary between regions, giving more urgency to workforce planning issues. The Australian government has embarked on the delivery of a major rural health strategy aimed at increasing access to health care in the rural and remote regions- through the provision of more and better services (specialist services ; multipurpose centres); attracting more health professionals (scholarships for health students ; setting up of rural universities) ; and retaining and supporting those professionals in rural and remote areas (on-going training; support programs for families and overseas trained doctors ; practice management and financial incentives).