Graphic: billion dollar saving

Billion dollar saving with accident prevention strategy

Date published

06 Mar 2016

Graphic: ABC News Breakfst

ABC News Breakfast, Monday 7 March 2016

Graphic: WIN TV News

WIN TV News, prime time, Tuesday 8 March 2016

Across every measure, rates of injury and associated death are higher in country Australia than in major cities:

Road Fatalities: Although more than two thirds of Australia's population live in major cities, more than half of road fatalities occur on rural and remote roads.

Workplace Injury: Injury fatality rates for agricultural workers are 9 times higher than any other industry.

Poisoning: Death rates from poisoning are 3.5 times higher in remote areas compared to major cities.

Assault deaths: Australians in remote areas are 3.8 times more likely to die from an injury caused by assault than in major cities.

Children: Children from very remote areas are 2.2 times more likely to be hospitalised for an injury than children in cities. 1 in 3 child hospitalisations are for avoidable injury, and injury claims more children's lives each year than cancer and nervous system illnesses combined.

Indigenous: Indigenous people in remote and very remote areas are twice as likely as indigenous people in major cities to be hospitalised for an injury.

One in five aeromedical evacuations the RFDS undertakes every year, are in response to accidents and injury.

The RFDS research reveals the hospital cost of avoidable accidents exceeds $1 billion each year, and could be reduced with smart preventative measures.

Research paper

"Accidents can be prevented. Prevention saves lives. Prevention also saves taxpayer dollars. Governments need to adopt a new accident and injury prevention strategy to save both lives and avoidable hospital costs," says Martin Laverty, CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

Download the new RFDS research report "Responding to injuries in remote and rural Australia".