Rehab services vital to prevent bush cardiac deaths

Date published

04 Oct 2019
Infographics on heart health

A new RFDS research paper released today, details how cardiac rehabilitation services, if made available in the bush, could prevent as many as 80% of premature deaths from cardiac disease.

One in five of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) emergency flights are for heart attack and stroke. An average of 112 patients per-week, or 16 patients per-day, are retrieved by the RFDS from country areas and flown to major hospitals for heart treatment.

Remote Australians are 1.6 times more likely to be hospitalised for coronary heart disease than people in major cities, and 1.3 times more likely to die. Indigenous Australians are 1.7 times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to die from coronary heart disease.

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Professor Fergus Gardiner said “The disparity in heart health outcomes between city and bush can be improved if cardiac rehab and health programs are more readily available in the bush. Lives can be saved through the provision of services that are enjoyed in the city but not available in the bush and this paper is the first step in looking at solutions to prevent cardiac deaths.”

Read the full report here.