Aeromedical Retrieval

All RFDS bases in Queensland (except Longreach) provide an aeromedical retrieval service for emergencies. This includes the provision of direct primary responses as well as transport of patients between hospitals — known as inter-hospital transfers. There are more than 2,000 landing strips in the RFDS network across Australia, many of which are used on a regular basis and other that exist purely for medical visits. The RFDS (Queensland Section) Standard Aerodrome Requirements provide information about developing and maintaining your airstrip.

RFDS (Queensland Section) performs interhospital transfers in specially fitted aircraft

Inter-hospital transfers occur when further treatment or investigations are required for a patient, which are not available at the transferring facility. The RFDS provides approximately ten times more inter-hospital transfers per annum than primary emergency responses. 

All aircraft are staffed with a pilot, flight nurse and a medical officer if required. The aircraft are fully pressurised and configured to resemble mini-intensive care units. They are fitted with either a Lifeport or TAS system and a stretcher loading system that is fully compatible with road ambulance systems.