Graphic: HCF Partnership Launch SANT Base
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, have announced a transformative multi-million-dollar national partnership dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of rural and remote Australians
At the launch event hosted in Adelaide yesterday, HCF made a significant stride by committing to a major national partnership over the next three years.
The event marked a pivotal moment in HCF's dedication to supporting critical initiatives aimed at enhancing the health and well-being of rural and remote Australians.
Frank Quinlan, RFDS Federation Executive Director, underscored the significance of HCF's support, stating, "the recent RFDS Best For The Bush report showed that men who live in remote Australia are on average expected to live almost 14 years less than their city counterparts.
For a rural woman, the life expectancy difference is 19 years,” Mr Quinlan said. “We know access to comprehensive care at every age and stage is key to managing chronic disease, preventing hospitalisation and supporting happier, healthier, longer lives.
Across Australia, the RFDS assists someone every two minutes. “The RFDS is honoured to partner with HCF in a shared commitment to our communities. HCF’s support will go a long way to helping RFDS as we remove barriers to whole-of-life healthcare for remote and rural Australians
The partnership encompasses support for a wide range of programs, including primary health, oral health, mental health, Aboriginal health, immunizations, and maternal health.
HCF's commitment to the RFDS reflects its dedication to addressing the unique healthcare challenges faced by those in remote and rural regions.
Ash Williams, a recent RFDS patient, attended the launch event with his partner Laura McCarthy and two sons Henry, 13, and George, 6. Earlier this year, Ash was airlifted from his remote sheep station after breaking two ribs and four vertebrae in a serious motorbike accident.
HCF Chief Executive Officer Sheena Jack said the partnership firmly aligned with the fund’s vision to improve access to affordable, quality healthcare for their members and all Australians.
“As one of this nation’s original for-purpose organisations, HCF is dedicated to providing uncommon care to its members – the same exceptional level of care and attention the Flying Doctor is known and trusted for in every situation,” Ms Jack said.
“Through this major national partnership, HCF is proud to support the RFDS in providing quality healthcare wherever in Australia you may be – both in the case of an emergency and through access to programs targeting primary health, oral health, mental health, Aboriginal health, immunisations, and maternal health.”
HCF branding was officially unveiled on the RFDS aeromedical aircraft VH-FNH (Foxtrot-November-Hotel, known as “Hotel” to crews). Transporting crews across South Australia and the Northern Territory, Hotel flies over 800,000 kilometres per year and airlifts four patients every day for urgent medical treatment.
This major national partnership stands as a beacon of hope for remote and rural communities, embodying the shared commitment of HCF and RFDS to improve the health outcomes of all Australians, regardless of geographic location.
The collaboration represents a significant step forward in realising equitable healthcare access for individuals living in Australia's vast and diverse landscapes.