Just over a quarter of the people in NSW live outside the three major cities of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. Rural NSW is characterised by its diversity. It is made up of major regional centres and coastal cities, small towns and remote communities.
In NSW, there are 15 local health districts (LHDs) responsible for providing health services in a wide range of settings, from primary health care posts in the remote outback to metropolitan tertiary health centres. Seven of these LHDs are classified as comprising rural areas.