WA Governor officially opens upgraded facilities at RFDS Meekatharra base

Date published

28 Aug 2020

WA Governor The Honourable Kim Beazley AC joined the Royal Flying Doctor Service on a routine training flight to the Midwest where he officially opened upgraded facilities at the RFDS Meekatharra base.

The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of WA and WA Country Health Service Deputy Board Chair Wendy Newman joined the Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Operations Board Chair Sam Walsh AO on a routine training flight to the Midwest this week where he officially opened upgraded facilities at the RFDS Meekatharra base. 

The patron of RFDS Western Operations, Governor Beazley met with frontline crews, toured the base, the Meekatharra Hospital as well as attended the official event. 

The opening of the upgraded Patient Transfer Area was also attended by WA Country Health Service Chief Executive Jeff Moffet and representatives from the local community. 

RFDS WO Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Tomkinson said the WA Country Health Service had been critical to the successful completion of the project.

"The upgrade has provided more comfortable facilities for waiting patients, improved storage for medical supplies and better lighting for night operations," Ms Tomkinson said. 

"The funding from the WA Country Health Service has made the project possible."

WACHS Chief Executive Jeff Moffet said working in partnership with RFDS was an important part of ensuring quality health care services in the bush. 

"Collectively, our organisations deliver health services to some of the most remote communities across the state and we work together, and with other agencies to make it happen," Mr Moffet said. 

The RFDS Meekatharra base was established 75 years ago in 1945. Crews stationed at the base respond to healthcare emergencies, provide safe transfer of patients between hospitals and deliver regular primary healthcare clinics (eg GP, nurse and dental clinics) to communities in the region. 

The strategic location of Meekatharra in the centre of WA means locally-based RFDS crews respond to incidents across the state. 

Meekatharra crews transported 875 patients in the last financial year, from as far afield as the Great Southern and the Kimberley. 

In the same period, 282 patients travelled through Meekatharra and a total of 1.545 patients were retrieved from across the Midwest region. 

The RFDS currently flies approximately 27 patients to safety each day from across WA. In the last financial year, a record 9,012 patients were transferred by the aeromedical charity.