Graphic: Government commit funds to RFDS Mount Isa Base
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) has secured funds for a new, built-for-purpose aeromedical base in north west Queensland.
The Commonwealth Government recently announced a commitment of $9.7 million towards the project through the Building Better Regions Fund, enabling the RFDS to begin planning the construction phase of the aeromedical base and patient transfer facility.
RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib thanked the Commonwealth Government for the vital investment in rural and remote healthcare.
“This funding commitment signals an important milestone in our statewide infrastructure plan. The new Mount Isa Base will be custom-built to allow for improved patient experience during transit, as well as an enhanced working environment for medical staff, pilots and ground crew,” she said.
“Importantly, our new base will enable the continued delivery of vital 24/7 emergency retrieval and inter-hospital patient transfer services for the region well into the future.
“It will feature four dedicated hangar bays and maintenance facilities, improved transfer facilities for patients, new break rooms for clinical staff and additional car parking for staff and emergency vehicles.
“The patient transfer facility will allow our crews to move patients from RFDS aircraft to Queensland Ambulance Service vehicles, out of the elements and in a comfortable, clinical environment, ensuring the best patient care possible.”
Ms Staib said the new facility will also provide significant economic benefits to the north west.
“In Mount Isa, the RFDS generates $16.3 million of economic activity per year and supports 119 full-time equivalent jobs,” she said.
“We expect the build of this base to generate 43 new full-time jobs and provide approximately $3.7 million in wages and salaries.”
Ms Staib said a fundraising appeal, staged earlier this year, generated more than $1 million in community donations for the new base. The remainder of funds required will be sourced through philanthropic support.
The RFDS Mount Isa Base services people living, working and travelling from the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, the Northern Territory border in the west, Hughenden in the east and Bedourie in the south.
Last financial year, Mount Isa crew provided aeromedical transfer for more than 1,000 patients and primary health care for more than 5,000 patients.