Inter-Hospital Patient Transfers

In South Australia and the Northern Territory, the RFDS transfers 20 patients a day from country hospitals to metropolitan hospitals for life-saving treatment or higher levels of care.

RFDS Medi-Jet 24 patient transfer

About our patient transfers

In addition to our emergency aeromedical retrieval service in outback Australia, the RFDS airlifts patients between country and metropolitan hospitals on a daily basis.

On average, the RFDS flies 20 times a day across South Australia, including to regional locations such as Port Pirie and Mount Gambier, to transport patients to hospitals, as well as safely return them home.

Once a patient is admitted to a country hospital often their condition can deteriorate, with urgent need for specialist treatment at a major hospital. Urgent transfers often involve organ transplant patients or a newborn baby requiring heart surgery interstate. 

Inter-hospital transfers are not just for people living in the country - one in every 20 people transferred in South Australia has an Adelaide postcode.

RFDS road patient transport service

Road Patient Transport Service

In 2022, the RFDS launched a road patient transport service to complement its longstanding aeromedical services across South Australia.

The new Adelaide-based service, comprising two purpose-built RFDS Ambulances and a team of Patient Transport Officers, supports the outbound transfers of rural, remote and regional patients following treatment in a metropolitan hospital, and responds to non-emergency ambulance transport requests from SA Ambulance Service.

Long-haul and interstate transfers

Long-haul & Interstate transfers

Our fleet features two RFDS PC-24 Jets, offering fast long-haul/interstate evacuations and repatriations for up to three patients. 

The world’s first purpose-built aeromedical jet packages the RFDS’s signature aeromedical interior and seamless patient loading system with the unparalleled performance and versatility of the state-of-the-art Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet.

The RFDS PC-24 fleet is also available for air ambulance charter service. Click below to find out more.

Air Ambulance Charter Service
RFDS patient transfer

Learn more about how the RFDS supports healthy and happy lives in SA/NT.