Women's Health Week

Date published

15 Oct 2019

The Royal Flying Doctor Service was proud to partner with Women’s Health Week last month. We took time to speak with some of our staff and find out their favourite women’s health tips.

Kiri Oates

Meet Kiri

Dr Kiri Oates is an Emergency Medicine and Retrieval Registrar for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section).

"It is a true privilege to work for the Service. I am very lucky to work alongside so many fantastic and inspiring colleagues in a world-renowned organisation that puts patient care first."

Kiri trained as an Emergency Registrar in the UK and has worked out of the Dubbo and Broken Hill bases over the last eighteen months.

"Having completed my membership exams I was ready for a change and a bit of sunshine. I seized an opportunity to work for the Flying Doctor. What an amazing chance to explore Australia while flying around NSW retrieving sick patients and helping out where you are needed most."

When working on patient retrievals, Kiri flies across the state to help the unwell or those involved in traumatic accidents. Her and her team also work to transport patients to hospitals better equipped to treat and care for their ailment.

On other days Kiri manages the emergency phone line, taking calls from patients and nurses all over the outback looking for medical help or advice. "I never get bored!" she says.

In acknowledgement of Women's Health Week Kiri shared her best women's health tip.


"I have had close friends and patients whose lives have been cruelly turned upside down due to breast cancer but by recognising early signs and knowing your breasts can save your life.

By checking your breasts every month you will build confidence in knowing what is normal for you. Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t worry if you’re not feeling confident straight away but if in doubt make an appointment to see your GP and get checked out!"

Lana Vestarkis

Meet Lana

Dr Lana Vestarkis is a Consultant Anaesthetist and Medical Officer with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section).

"I work within an inspiring team of both women and men to bring the best care to the furthest corner. The ability to be part of a team that can potentially save a life in tricky circumstances is humbling."

Lana's role involves assessing, stabilising, and transferring patients between hospitals, "all with the help of highly skilled team members and state of the art equipment in rural and remote areas of NSW."

Based in Dubbo, Lana joined the service because she wanted to broaden her horizons and expand her skillset.

"Being a hospital-based doctor is a rewarding experience, but being a Flying Doctor who can offer medical expertise in challenging and remote situations offer a whole new dimension to the job that I love!"

In acknowledgement of Women's Health Week Lana has shared her best advice for good women's health.


"Aside from looking after your physical health, my health tip would be to look after your mental health. A lot of women tend to carry a huge mental workload and can sometimes lack confidence.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service encourages its female clinicians to keep learning new skills. When a person feels educated, they are empowered.

They can be confident in their skills and the care they deliver. They can be happy that they have done their best."