It has been four months since the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) opened the hangar doors to its new Bundaberg Aeromedical Base, and while the skies have been quieter than usual during that time, it’s been all systems go for the lifesaving work of the local RFDS crew.
Since the beginning of March, the local crew has flown 425 patients to emergency care around the state – almost five patients per day.
Patients have been flown with conditions ranging from cardiac issues and serious injuries, to the transfer of expectant mothers and infants to specialist care in Brisbane.
Highlighting the aeromedical footprint the Bundaberg Base covers, the team has retrieved patients from 34 different locations in Queensland, from Hervey Bay, Kingaroy, Gladstone, Barcaldine and beyond.
RFDS Bundaberg Manager of Clinical and Base Operations, Robyn Langton said the new Base allowed the hundreds of patients who had already transferred through the facility to do so in more comfort than previously available.
“A real benefit of the new Base is the patient transfer facility, which allows us to care for patients in a comfortable, clinical environment inside the Base while they wait for ongoing transfer,” Ms Langton said.
“Previously, patients often had to wait on a stretcher on the tarmac or inside the aircraft.
“The RFDS is always looking at ways of delivering even greater levels of care, and we have seen exactly that since the new Base became operational.”
The new Base construction was funded through the generosity of the Commonwealth Government’s Building Better Regions Fund and matched by community and corporate donations.
Ms Langton said she looked forward to showing the Bundaberg community through the facility in the near future.
“Unfortunately we had to postpone our official opening due to the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. We had such an amazing show of support throughout the build, and we can’t wait to show the community how their support is directly impacting so many people from the region,” she said.
Between February 2, 2020 and May 28, 2020 the RFDS nationally has conducted 457 patient episodes of care for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Of those 457 patients, 27 have been in Queensland.