Flying Doctor records busiest year in Queensland

Date published

22 Jan 2020

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) has recorded its busiest year to date, with more than 98,000 occasions of care delivered across the state.

That’s about 268 occasions of care every day.

Total patient flights for the 2018/19 financial year were also up by almost 300 flights on the previous year, at a total of 11,777.

Individual occasions of care seen across the state at all nine RFDS (Queensland Section) Bases in primary health care service were also on the rise, with the Flying Doctor in Queensland seeing 2,272 patients through its mobile dental service, up 1,080 over last year; 1,535 patients through its outback mental health service, up almost 1,500; and 16,641 patients through its telehealth service, up 3,303 from last year.

RFDS (Queensland Section) CEO, Meredith Staib, said the increase in occasions of care seen across the state was due to an expanding portfolio of service delivery for the Flying Doctor in Queensland.

“In recent years we’ve been actively pursuing opportunities to increase our primary health care offerings to meet the needs of people living in regional, rural and remote parts of the state,” Ms Staib said.

“Whether that be increasing our physical presence in drought-affected areas through our mental health services, expanding the roster and reach of our RFDS Mobile Dental Service, or capitalising on innovative new technologies in the telehealth space to increase accessibility for our patients to our medical staff, we are always looking at ways we can better serve the people of Queensland.

“As a direct result of the increase in these areas of service, we are seeing an increase in people receiving care. This year alone we’ve seen an increase of almost 10,000 occasions of care from the same period last year.”

“This is testament to our promise to provide excellence in, and access to, primary health care and aeromedical services across Queensland.

“Wherever you may live, work or travel in Queensland, everyone deserves the right to access world-class health care, and it is our mission to ensure we can continue to provide that care now and well into the future.”

In 2019, the RFDS in Queensland also introduced four new aircraft to its fleet, extending its primary health care clinic capacity.

The focus on increasing primary health care services and aeromedical capabilities is part of the RFDS (Queensland Section) Towards 100 strategic vision. This will see the Flying Doctor in Queensland hone its focus on its people, innovation and operational excellence in order to ensure it continues its promise of delivering the finest care to the furthest corner of the state as it nears its 100th anniversary and beyond.