The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

Patient transfer from Lizard Island with RFDS Nurse Sonia Girle.

Patient transfer from Lizard Island with RFDS Nurse Sonia Girle.

Imagine living 200 kilometers from your nearest neighbour, 3 hours drive to the nearest town, and you need medical assistance – FAST.

The RFDS provides people living in rural, remote and coastal communities with a critical link to health and emergency care, support you simply can’t take for granted or put a dollar value to, when alternative care could be literally hours or days away.
Last year the RFDS aircraft fleet travelled over 5.4 million kilometres throughout Queensland and provided more than 75,000 patients consultations. More than 8,600 of these people were aero-medically transported to hospital for general treatment and specialist care. Of those, over 3,500 patients were treated by the RFDS after serious accidents or life threatening medical conditions.
For locals, as well as those travelling and working in rural and remote Queensland, the Flying Doctor plays an integral role in their safety and provides a true sense of security, should life present challenges beyond their capacity to manage.
When many Australians turn their minds to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) they think of an aircraft, with doctor and nurse on board, rushing to the aid of an injured stockman or grazier’s wife in premature labour.
Aeromedical evacuations are the cornerstone of the RFDS’s work, but represent just a small part of the work they do to deliver excellence in health care across the nation.

The RFDS is always willing to provide extra services - and promote a sunsmart community.

The RFDS is always willing to provide extra services - and promote a sunsmart community.

The service is playing an increasing role delivering preventative health care services to rural and remote Australia.
The RFDS runs programs that promote healthy lifestyles through exercise and healthy eating in remote communities.
The RFDS has expanded their mental health programs in response to rural and remote issues, such as drought and the special challenges facing remote Indigenous communities, leading to an increased emphasis on social and emotional wellbeing.
Many people living in remote Australia have no permanent access to health professionals. The RFDS fills the gap by conducting regular Primary Health Care Clinics at isolated sites.
These are conducted by RFDS doctors, flight nurses and other specialised health professionals. Services include, but are not limited to, routine health checks and advice, vaccinations, child health care, dental, eye and ear clinics.
The RFDS is flying increasing numbers of patients from rural and regional Australia to metropolitan hospitals as many specialist medical services previously available in country hospitals are now only available in capital cities.
Radio or telephone consultations by doctors and nurses and other specialised health professionals are conducted with people at remote locations.
Over 1,300 RFDS medical chests containing an extensive range of numbered drugs and medical supplies are located at remote locations across Queensland, such as isolated pastoral properties, Indigenous communities, out-stations, remote mining sites and lighthouses.