Health Access

Why is the RFDS needed?

Why is the Royal Flying Doctor Service needed?

Australia is a big place -- 7.69 million square kilometres big -- and with a relatively small population of @25 million people. 

Two thirds of our population live around the regional coastlines and the remaining third live across rural and remote areas -- sometimes more than a 6 hour drive to the closest township. 

Access to health services can be a problem. Services that are taken for granted in the city are routinely just not possible outside metro areas, and this creates real hardship for the families and communities living in the bush.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service works to reduce the disparity of health service access. We bring emergency medical and primary health services to those areas that don't have access. We make it possible for people to live, work and travel across this large continent.

Flight Map

Seven million Australians live in remote and rural Australia. On average, these seven million Australians have poorer health outcomes and live shorter lives than city residents.

  • The premature death rate is 1.6 times higher in remote Australia than in city areas.
  • The percentage of people in remote areas with arthritis, asthma, deafness, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease is higher than in cities. 
  • Health behaviours of people in country areas are less conducive to good health than people in cities, with higher rates of smoking, obesity, and alcohol misuse in remote areas than in cities.

Live Flight Map

See where our fleet of 79 planes are in real-time!