RFDS crews deliver COVID-19 vaccine to rural and remote communities

Graphic: RFDS crews deliver COVID-19 vaccine to rural and remote communities

RFDS crews deliver COVID-19 vaccine to rural and remote communities

Date published

15 Jul 2021

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) primary health care staff have now delivered more than 1,200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to rural and remote communities.

The RFDS is working closely in collaboration with Commonwealth and State departments to support the roll-out of the vaccination program to rural and remote Queenslanders who choose to have the vaccine.

RFDS crews from Charleville, Mount Isa and Cairns have supported the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine to 22 remote communities across Queensland. This has included the delivery of both first and second doses.

RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said the Flying Doctor was a trusted provider of primary health care services.

“In addition to the aeromedical retrieval of the critically-ill or injured, the RFDS also delivers regular primary health care clinics, which enable our staff to develop a close rapport with people living and working in rural and remote Queensland,” she said.

“We are pleased to assist the Hospital and Health Services and Primary Health Networks in facilitating access to the COVID-19 vaccine for remote and rural Queenslanders.”

COVID-19 vaccination

Despite the challenging circumstances of the past year, Ms Staib said the RFDS continued to provide vital emergency medical and primary health care services for regional, rural and remote Queenslanders.

“The RFDS in Queensland has transported 40 patients with COVID precautions. Across Australia, the RFDS has conducted more than 3,050 episodes of care for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients,” she said.

“Several procedures have been adjusted, including increases to decontamination procedures for aircraft and pre-screening at our primary health care clinics.

“The protection of our remote communities was, and continues to be, a particular focus. All RFDS staff now undergo a wellness check before flying or beginning their work shift.”

Ms Staib said the RFDS remains unwavering in its mission to deliver the finest care to the furthest corner of the state.

“For more than 93 years the RFDS has helped rural and remote Queenslanders overcome the tyranny of distance to access healthcare services. The RFDS in Queensland is incredibly well positioned to now assist in the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination program.”