Tennant Creek, with a population of 3,500 people, is the only town of any size in the Barkly Tablelands. It lies on the Stuart Highway 510 kms North of Alice Springs and 670 kms South of Katherine. The Barkly, which it serves, is a huge, and sometimes forgotten, expanse of 240,000 square kms between the tropical 'Top End' and the arid 'Red Centre'. It is roughly the same size as the UK or New Zealand, and consists largely of open grass plains with scattered cattle stations, mines and indigenous communities.
Tennant Creek Hospital is a twenty-bed hospital whose principal purpose is to assess, diagnose and treat short-term illnesses and injuries. All of the Department, including Tennant Creek Hospital work under the governing strategic plan entitled Building Healthier Communities.
To provide the services to the community and to work in partnership with other non-government organisations Tennant Creek Hospital maintains a wide range of services. Some of these services are for direct health care to the community, other services work along side the health care providers by way of administrative support. Finally, there are those that provide the physical needs of the patients and maintain the hospital's buildings, grounds and equipment.
Tennant Creek Hospital also operates an eight chair renal unit. The renal unit provides a dialysis service to the Barkly Region.