RFDS and Rio Tinto partner to improve remote and rural Queensland health services

Date published

06 May 2020

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) and Rio Tinto have formed a new partnership to improve emergency and remotely delivered health care services across regional Queensland.

Under the partnership, Rio Tinto has pledged $1.25 million to RFDS Queensland over five years, underlining the company’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders and to providing resources to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership adds to Rio Tinto’s longstanding support of the Flying Doctor in Western Australia.

Graphic: RFDS Rio Tinto Partnership

The new partnership will 

 - Improve remote delivery of primary health care and mental health services across the state through support of RFDS Queensland’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. 

 - Fund construction and maintenance of a new patient transfer facility in Weipa and maintenance of the existing patient transfer facility in Gladstone. These transfer facilities        improve patient care and operational response times for critical patients and upgrade comfort levels for patients, crews and service-delivery partners.

 - Contribute to construction of a world-class Aeromedical Retrieval Simulation Hub in Bundaberg. The hub will use virtual reality, augmented reality and high-fidelity immersive      training scenarios to attract and train aeromedical professionals for the benefit of the whole state.

Rio Tinto Aluminium Pacific Operations managing director Kellie Parker said “We are proud to extend to Queensland our longstanding partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our people and communities, and the Flying Doctor provides a vital service to remote and rural areas. This partnership will help improve medical access and services for people in these areas across the state, including where we operate, at Gladstone and on Cape York Peninsula."

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) chief executive Meredith Staib said the Service was pleased to welcome Rio Tinto as a Principal Partner.

“This new million-dollar partnership will allow our service to deliver even greater levels of care across the state,” Ms Staib said.

“Improving our infrastructure does require a significant investment and strategic partnerships such as this will allow us to do just that.“We are incredibly grateful to Rio Tinto for their commitment to help us deliver even better health outcomes for Queenslanders.”

The $1.25 million RFDS Queensland partnership is the first major investment announced in Queensland as part of a US$25 million commitment Rio Tinto has made to support communities around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. The commitment takes Rio Tinto’s total estimated voluntary global community contributions to around US$60 million for 2020.