Welcome news arrived in December with the announcement that the RFDS had once again been rated Australia’s Most Reputable Charity in the highly-esteemed Charity RepTrak study.
“The Royal Flying Doctor Service remains well ahead of the Top 10 average in reputation, holding its position since 2013,” the report said.
Charlie Paterson, Executive General Manager Marketing & Stakeholder Relations for RFDS Central Operations, said the result was testimony to the Flying Doctor's dedicated team, service-delivery partners and incredible supporters.
He acknowledged the RFDS rated highly on the survey’s reputation drivers for innovation, service delivery, cost management and leadership.
“We are proud to report this is the ninth time the RFDS has taken top spot in this survey,” Mr Paterson said.
“We see this survey result as a validation for all first-responders, medical chest custodians, clinic hosts, volunteers that clear and light runways, remote area clinicians and the many, many others that our dedicated staff work with and rely on daily."
The Reptrak Charity Survey states the RFDS shares “excellent levels of trust, admiration and respect for the service, offering verbal support and welcoming the charity into their community.”
Report results come from asking members of the public to assess major Australian charities based on seven key drivers – governance, workplace, innovation, services, cost management, leadership and citizenship.
Throughout South Australia and Northern Territory alone the RFDS helps 100 patients every day whether it is 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.
“We have teams based at 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, to support more than 50,000 patients every year – that's someone every 10 minutes,” Mr Paterson said.
“To know we are trusted and to know the community knows that we deliver on our promise to provide a mantle of care to the furthest corner of SA and NT is extremely important to us.”
The RFDS is a not-for-profit organisation, and while the organisation receives 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.
In 2020, the RFDS transported 9,053 patients by aeromedical aircraft, conducted 6,268 digital health consultations and 10,425 face-to-face primary health consultations, reacting rapidly to new challenges as COVID-19 began to affect our community.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic ground the world to a halt in early 2020, RFDS Central Operations reliably delivered its signature patient-centred care throughout the central corridor of Australia.
“As an organisation, we are truly privileged to have the trust of the community in times of crisis and in times of good health.”
- RFDS Central Operations Chairman Peter de Cure