Rural Health Services
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
Information on the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and its delivery of primary health services to people in rural and remote Australia.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) was established in 1928 by the Reverend John Flynn to serve the medical and wellbeing needs of isolated people in Australia. The RFDS now provides aero-medical transport and health care to people who live, travel or work in rural and remote Australian communities.
The Australian Government has funded the RFDS for over 75 years.
The Australian Government funds the recurrent and capital costs of RFDS traditional services (aero-medical evacuations, primary and community health care clinics, remote consultations and medical chests). The State and Northern Territory governments fund the transfer of patients between hospitals.
The Australian Government's total funding support for the RFDS over the four year period 2007-08 to 2010-2011 is up to $247 million. The RFDS is also funded by the Australian Government under separate arrangements to provide regular female GP visits to rural communities.
A new four year funding agreement for the ongoing provision of Australian Government funded RFDS traditional services to commence from 1 July 2011 is currently being finalised.
The main features of the RFDS traditional services funded by the Australian Government are:
A 24 hour Emergency ServiceThe provision of aero-medical emergency evacuation services to victims of illness or accident who are in a serious or potentially life threatening condition and who are beyond the normal medical infrastructure.
Primary and Community Health Care Clinics at Remote SitesRegular clinics at isolated sites conducted by doctors and/or flight nurses. Services include: routine health checks and advice; immunisation; child health care and other primary and community health services.
Remote ConsultationsDoctor and nurse consultation by telephone, or radio, with people at remote locations.
Medical ChestsThe provision of over 2,400 medical chests containing an extensive range of pharmaceutical and medical supplies. These are located in isolated locations such as pastoral properties, Indigenous communities, out-stations, remote mining sites and lighthouses.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia can be contacted on 02 8259 8100 or by visiting The Royal Flying Doctors Website
Departmental contact details:
Telephone our rural health national inquiry line on 1800 020 787 or email Rural Health.
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