Clinic catchup: Tibooburra

Tibooburra is a town in the far northwest of New South Wales, Australia, located 1,187 kilometres from Sydney.

Tibooburra clinic operates with the support of the RFDS, who fly in once a fortnight from Broken Hill, NSW. RFDS staff attending may include a doctor, mental health nurse, women and child family health nurse, dentist and dental assistant and sometimes, specialists in various fields.

Dr Alison Lyon (inset) is one of the doctors who fly into Tibooburra, which has a population of around 260 but acts as a service centre for a much larger area.

"Having access to a GP service through a clinic can mean early detection, and treatment," says Alison. "This can save lives in remote communities, as well as avoid emergency retrievals which can occur if things go untreated to the point that they escalate."

Dr Alison Lyon

Patients include families from the town and properties much further out, as well as travellers passing through who need to see a GP. With many 'grey nomads' seeing Australia's Outback, knowing where to get non-emergency medical help is just as important as knowing the Flying Doctor is available in a crisis.

The two men waiting when our photographer stopped by are, from left, Don 'Ducky Robertson, who lives locally and Graham White, who is on a cross-country motorbike trip from his home in Woodend, Victoria, to Broome, WA.