The Brisbane and Rockhampton Bases of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) both celebrated 25 years in operation on 3 July, 2020.
More than 14 patients a day are transferred through the Brisbane Base, while the local Rockhampton crew fly more than seven patients a day.
The facilities, exclusively emergency aeromedical Bases, are responsible for facilitating thousands of retrieval and inter-hospital transfers each year.
RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said 1995 represented a step change for the organisation due to the opening of Bases in Brisbane and Rockhampton.
Prior to this time, the RFDS (Queensland Section) operated from three traditional Bases – Mount Isa, Cairns and Charleville.
“The opening of dedicated Bases in Brisbane and Rockhampton allowed the RFDS to expand operations to deliver our own retrieval services to regional, rural and remote Queensland, as well as commencing a vital inter-hospital transfer service for the Queensland Government,” Ms Staib said.
“Since 1995, the RFDS has partnered with the Queensland Government to deliver more than 230,000 inter-hospital transfers for patients seeking specialist treatment across the state.
“Today, the inter-hospital transfer service operates between seven strategically located RFDS operational bases in Brisbane, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Townsville, Charleville, Cairns and Mount Isa.”
Ms Staib said the establishment of the new bases and the inter-hospital transfer service in 1995 bolstered the delivery of health and wellbeing services to regional, rural and remote Queensland.
“From our aeromedical beginnings, the RFDS has grown to deliver a broad range of essential primary and preventative healthcare services, including medical chests, telehealth services, immunisations, GP and nurse clinic consults, dental consults, and mental health and wellbeing services,” she said.
“Last year alone, we helped 253 people every day in Queensland – that’s more than 92,000 occasions of care. This included transporting more than 11,700 patients.”
Ms Staib said healthcare services across the country and the world had this year been stretched greater than they had been for a very long time.
“During the pandemic we have remained operational, transporting more than 600 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients across the country, including 32 in Queensland,” she said.
“The RFDS is proud to reinforce our commitment to deliver world-class healthcare services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and far beyond.
“I thank our wonderful staff for their continued dedication to uphold our promise to deliver the finest care to the furthest corner of our state.”