The RFDS in SA/NT
What we do in Central
Every day we assist around 100 patients in South Australia and the Northern Territory, be it an aeromedical evacuation, a GP and Community Health Nurse clinic, a telehealth call, a mental health or oral health clinic, or a child's immunisation. From our four aeromedical bases at Darwin, Alice Springs, Port Augusta, and Adelaide, and our health services staffed by Remote Area Nurses in Marree, Andamooka and Marla, RFDS Central Operations assists over 50,000 patients every year - that's one patient every 20 minutes!
RFDS Central Operations has been in existence since 1939 and is a key player in the delivery of 24/7 emergency aeromedical and essential primary health care services to people living, working and travelling in rural and remote South and Central Australia. We are a not-for-profit organisation, and while we receive support from Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, the RFDS relies on fundraising and donations to bridge the gap in operational funding, and to finance its capital-raising program for replacement aircraft, medical equipment and other major capital initiatives.Our services
Latest news stories
Our sky-high message of thanks14 May 2020
To mark the International Year of the Nurse & Midwife, RFDS Central Operations has taken its appreciation for its nurses sky-high.Read full story
To all Nurses & Midwives12 May 2020
An open letter from RFDS Central Operations Chairman Peter de Cure and Chief Executive Tony Vaughan ASM for International Year of the Nurse & Midwife.Read full story
Darwin RFDS Base
Darwin Base commenced operations in December 2017. The new purpose-built facility enables the RFDS to fulfil its strategic goal of providing the finest care through the entire north-south corridor of the Northern Territory and South Australia. The Base provides 24-hour emergency evacuations and inter-hospital transfers in addition to regular charter services to NT Health for the transport of health professionals delivering remote fly-in clinics throughout the Top End.
Alice Springs RFDS Base
The Alice Springs Base provides 24-hour emergency evacuations and inter-hospital transfers by our team of Pilots, Flight Nurses and Engineers. It serves an area of approximately 1.25 million square kilometres from Marla in northern South Australia to Elliot and Barkly Tableland in the Northern Territory, and beyond the border regions of Western Australia and Queensland. Crews also provide regular charter services to NT Health for the transport of health professionals working throughout Central Australia. The Mental Health Services Rural & Remote Areas Program delivered by RFDS mental health clinicians is also based in Alice Springs.
Alice Springs is also home to our award-winning RFDS Alice Springs Tourist Facility, which in recent years has undergone a major redevelopment to enhance its presence and improve the tourist experience for locals and visitors from all over the world. The RFDS Alice Springs Base also benefits from the Bill and Dawn Prior Village of 13 townhouses used as accommodation for staff and visiting clinicians.
Port Augusta RFDS Base
RFDS Central Operations’ state-of-the-art Operations Communications Centre is located at Port Augusta Base, from which our Operations Coordinators receive emergency calls, plan and assign all 24-hour emergency retrieval and inter-hospital transfer flights from Adelaide, Alice Springs, Port Augusta and Darwin, whilst also providing after-hours back up for the Broken Hill Base (operated by South Eastern Section).
The Port Augusta Base is headquarters of the RFDS Primary Health Care Service which serves an area of 840,000 square kilometres, providing comprehensive primary health care services to residents in the Far West and North West regions of SA. Services include 24-hour tele-health consultations, remote fly-in primary health care clinics offering specialist chronic disease, mental health, oral health, maternal health, breast cancer and community health nurses/clinicians.
In addition to our core of Doctors, Pilots, Flight Nurses, Engineers and Operations Coordinators, our Aboriginal Health Coordinator, Community Health Nurses, Lifestyle Advisor, Dentist and Dental Hygienist are based in Port Augusta enabling them to focus on serving people in isolated communities.
RFDS Darwin Tourist Facility brings together two iconic Australian stories: the history of the RFDS and the Bombing of Darwin in 1942. Visitors will be taken into another world with the latest virtual reality and holographic technology. Located at Darwin's historic Stokes Hill Wharf, the facility is operated by the RFDS in partnership with NT Tourism.
RFDS Alice Springs Tourist Facility
The RFDS Alice Springs Tourist Facility is a leading tourist attraction in Central Australia. Set in the original 1939 heritage building which housed the first RFDS Alice Springs Base radio operator, it features a life-size hologram of RFDS founder Reverend John Flynn who takes visitors through the history of the Flying Doctor from 1928 until the present. It also has a café and DocShop.