Australian Government partnership announcement

Australian Government announces Flying Doctor 10-year strategic partnership

Date published

25 Mar 2022

The Minister for Regional Health, Dr David Gillespie, and Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Chair, Dr John O’Donnell, today announced a ten-year $1 billion partnership between the Australian Government and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). This long term partnership will deliver better health outcomes to Australians living beyond the reach of mainstream services.

With the support of Australians everywhere, the RFDS has delivered essential health services for more than 90 years and now comprises an extensive network of 23 bases, 79 aircraft and 165 road transport vehicles and mobile clinics supported by more than 2,000 staff members.

The Australian Government has more than eight decades of history supporting and partnering with the RFDS, going back to the 1930’s.  To support that partnership, the government has committed additional funding of more than $80 million over the next ten years, taking support for the RFDS to $1 billion over ten years from 2022-2033.

At the rodeo

Minister for Regional Health, Dr David Gillespie said “RFDS delivers essential health care in rural, regional and remote communities, right across the country.”

“While emergency evacuations are what the RFDS is most well-known for, its role extends far beyond that to providing primary health care clinics, dental outreach and multidisciplinary mental health outreach services.”

“Our new formal agreement will give the RFDS certainty and allow it to offer flexible services that are responsive to local needs.”

Federation Executive Director, Frank Quinlan said “This is a landmark agreement.  Australians living outside metropolitan centers experience poorer health outcomes across the board.  

"This agreement will allow both the Australian Government and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to make a real difference to people who might otherwise miss out on services, and especially for Indigenous Australians.”

“Over the decades, everyday Australians have trusted and supported the RFDS to establish infrastructure, equipment, capacity and community links.   This partnership sets that work on a strong foundation for the decade ahead, and provides certainty to our dedicated workforce and supports.”