Millions of Red Crabs & the Hospital

Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, at the top of a 50 million-year-old extinct volcano.
This island with a plateau of 361 metres has a 80 kilometres coastline. An australian territory (since 1958), some 2650 kilometres north west of Perth, covering an area of 135 square kilometres. About the name? Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company arrived on Christmas Day, 25th December, 1643… The island is full of history, different «owners», stories about phosphate mining, world war II and becoming a fascinating tourist destination.
christmas_flyroute  christmas_map

There are some 2600 people living on this island. The capital Flying Fish Cove with 1400 people is located at the base of the Settlement area. More information here > webpage of the Shire of Christmas Island. And – the FB page.

One the 10 greatest natural wonders on Earth according to Sir David Attenborough
But the island is presumably known for its yearly gigantic spectacle: the Red Crab Migration from the plateau to the sea and back. Once a year the red crabs are flooding the island by the millions (total population about 120 millions). The daily life stops for days, they even built crab bridges to help the crabs.
4 minutes movie from the tourism department.
March of the Red Crabs, another 4 minutes movie by BBC.
More information via the webpage of the Christmas Island National Park (85 square kilometres).


And what about Health?
There is a small hospital on the island providing essential health services, the Indian Ocean Territories Health Service. Serious illness or injuries may be sent to Perth for treatment. Some informations via Annual Report Health and Community Care (2003,PDF – gov_au_christmas-island_annualreport).
hospital_map_christmasisland  hospital_christmas_island

– Completed in 1995, designed for a population of 10,000
– 8 beds
– Childbirth services are not provided
– Until June 2003, Island residents received dental treatment from a visiting locum
– Voluntary St Johns Ambulance service
– Routine medical services are provided free to Australian citizens & permanent residents

Some pics of the recent extension like steel top hats and compressed fibre cement sheeting… by Manteena and actionINTERIORS from Australia:

extension  plasterboard-walls-and-ceilings

Some staff infos
– A Health Services Manager who reports to the Christmas Island Official Secretary, a Director of Nursing, two full-time general practitioners on Christmas Island / The doctors are supported by registered nurses, health workers and other staff
– Since November 2001, the Rural Women’s General Practitioner Service, a fly-in-fly-out service aimed at improving access to primary health services for women in rural and remote communities by providing them with the choice of a female doctor, has provided services to the territories three times per year

Accident and emergency department, consulting rooms, laboratory, dental clinic, x-ray and ultrasound facilities.


  • Primary Health Care
  • Dedicated Primary Health nurse
  • Dedicated Community Health nurse
  • Comprehensive General Practice
  • Medical screening
  • Basic in-patient care
  • Basic radiology including visiting radiographer
  • 24 hour Emergency Service and doctor on call
  • Visiting medical specialists
  • Visiting allied health workers
  • Child Health and Immunization Clinics
  • Oral Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Community Aged Care support
  • Pathology Laboratory

During my blogs about unusual hospital all around the world I developed a special passion for the little ones. Like this Hospital on the Christmas Islands in the Indian Ocean. Even when I don’t find all the wished informations and pics everytime my websearch created a good impression.
But – hospitals are always a place of impressive engagement for humans. Small or big. In the city or remote. As a building or in a train.

My best wishes to Flying Fish Cove and all the health professionals there.
Maurice Codourey





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