Federal funding agreement

$38m injection for RFDS rural COVID-19 response

Date published

20 Apr 2020

Today Minister for Regional Health, Mark Coulton, announced a partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia to support rural and remote communities during the COVID-19 health emergency. The partnership will provide $11 million initially, and deliver up to $38 million in essential services to support remote communities affected by COVID-19.

The Federation Executive Director, Frank Quinlan said “The Royal Flying Doctor Service has been there for rural and remote communities for generations, and we are ready to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with all the supports and services necessary”.

“The funding announced today means we can be better prepared. It gives country Australians confidence that they will be cared for through this pandemic.”

 “The RFDS is grateful for additional support from the Federal Government as part of the national health pandemic response”.

Minister Coulton said “This funding is part of the Government’s $2.4 billion National Health Response Plan for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Our support for rural, regional and remote communities is about minimising the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 while increasing the capacity to evacuate early cases and provide a rapid response should an outbreak occur.” 

The funding is provided for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to help:

< evacuate confirmed COVID-19 cases

< evacuate highly suspected COVID-19 cases 

< expand on existing telehealth services

< deliver fly-in General Practitioner Respiratory Clinics, including testing, for a broader outbreak, and

< pre-position and replenish personal protective equipment for frontline medical staff.

As an essential health service, the RFDS continues to provide vital emergency medical and primary health care services during this national health pandemic and since the 2nd of February 2020 has conducted 175 patient episodes of care for confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

The RFDS is the Australian Government’s trusted partner for the emergency aeromedical services in rural and remote Australia.