RFDS retrieval in the outback

Graphic: RFDS retrieval in the outback

Multi-million-dollar donation gifted to the Flying Doctor

Date published

08 Jul 2023

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) is thrilled to receive a $4 million donation from Mrs Gina Rinehart AO, Hancock Prospecting and Rinehart Medical Foundation.

This generous gift will support the Flying Doctor in continuing its mantle of safety, connecting Queenslanders from the furthest corner to the finest care. 

The funds will contribute to the fit-out of a new Beechcraft King Air 360 aircraft and support the advancement of RFDS operational environments at the soon-to-be-redeveloped Brisbane Base.

RFDS staff helping patient

RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said the gift would continue to nurture quality patient care and help quicken response times. 

“On a typical day, we have 10 flights come through our Brisbane Base and last year alone, more than 4,250 patients from 63 different locations passed through this area of operations - numbers we expect to grow substantially once the new Base is built,” Ms Staib said. 

“The multi-million-dollar gift will help ensure that all Queenslanders - no matter where they live, work and play across the state - can feel safe in knowing that they are connected to the best medical care available.”

It is not the first donation the RFDS has received from Rinehart Medical Foundation. At the beginning of the pandemic, a separate $6 million gift was credited by RFDS as the turning point for its teams facing the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19.

“We are proud to again provide support to RFDS for the vital work they do each day for Queenslanders, and especially those in the bush,” Mrs Rinehart said.

“This once again shows that when mining does well, Australia does well.”

RFDS Staff helping patient

Along with the fit-out of the B360 aircraft based out of Brisbane, the $4 million donation will also support the fit out and operationalisation of the new RFDS Brisbane Base within the planned $72 million Queensland Regional Aeromedical Hub, with investment by the Queensland Government.

The additional donation from Hancock Prospecting and Rinehart Medical Foundation will help to fund state-of-the-art equipment and support the innovative Operational Control Centre, to enhance the Flying Doctor’s ability to serve Queenslanders with quicker, more efficient assistance.