Graphic: When I grow up I want to be a Flying Doctor
The heartwarming words from a seven-year-old Dakota Short about becoming a Flying Doctor one day show the importance of RFDS primary health clinics and the special connection between the RFDS, patients and the community.
“The nurses let me play with the thermometers, stethoscopes and machines,” Dakota shares with a beaming smile. “They are teaching me how to be a nurse one day. One day I will work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and help people, just like they help my family.”
Inspired by the dedicated health professionals who visit Lockhart River every fortnight, Dakota is just one of many lives changed by the RFDS’ primary health care clinics.
Dakota’s mum, Greta Accoom, explains simply: “The RFDS is an integral part of our community”.
“They keep us healthy, and they bring this incredible healthcare to us here in our community. It means we don’t have to leave the community and our family,” Greta shares.
“The RFDS not only visits us for health clinics, they do so much work in the community, in partnership with the community, educating our kids about healthy choices and looking after their health.”
Greta has never known life in Lockhart without the RFDS. Something she is extremely grateful for every day, but especially so in emergencies.
“Dakota has three older siblings – Simone, 22, Celeste, 20, and Shapel, 17. They have all been looked after by the RFDS with regular health checks.
“My father, my aunty, and my grandmother and grandad have all been flown by the RFDS over the years. I’m just so grateful that we have the Royal Flying Doctor Service as a part of our community, because we are really remote. If someone is sick, it is very comforting knowing the Flying Doctor is here to help.”
Greta shares her appreciation for the community of supporters who donate to the RFDS to fund the primary health clinics all over Queensland but concedes she cannot fully express how much of a difference it makes.
“I’ve seen other communities in different areas who do not have the access to doctors and nurses or the medicine we do. They are forced to leave their community and their family – or go without – and that can be very isolating for them to be away from their family. The difference it makes having the Flying Doctor in our community is very special and important.”
In the 2021/22 financial year, the RFDS delivered more than 3,000 primary health care clinics across the state to 65 rural and remote communities.