Remote consultations - often referred to as 'telehealth consultations' form the core of RFDS services. These are the calls that come into an RFDS base from individuals or health workers, in rural and remote areas, who require medical assistance or advice from an RFDS doctor.
The RFDS performed 76,508 telehealth consultations in 2019/2020.
Front line of help
Telehealth technology effectively bridges vast distances to facilitate remote consultations with our doctors. We provide medical advice by phone all year round to both patients and health staff in remote locations.
This means patients can receive advice and treatment 24 hours a day without having to travel long distances to the nearest town or clinics. RFDS staff prescribe medical treatment, identify when further care is needed and give first aid in emergencies.
Remote consultations are conducted over phone, radio and video call and additional platforms may be used to assist with diagnosis.
The RFDS has 2,338 medical chests around Australia containing a range of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical items, which enable emergency and non-emergency treatment for people in remote areas.
Medical Chests provide peace of mind to those living in the most remote parts of the Australian outback.
The medical chest has evolved over many years to cover a number of medical conditions that would be difficult for people living and working in remote areas to treat. As such, it contains a large number of "prescription only" pharmaceutical items. It is a condition for the provision of the chest that these drugs be used only on the advice of a registered RFDS doctor. The contents of the chest are reviewed regularly at a national level to ensure relevancy and currency of pharmaceuticals.
QLD Tele-health and medical chest
RFDS Medical Officers provide a 24 hour medical consultation service via telephone and radio transmission.Read more
The RFDS has established a national RFDS COVID-19 Working Group to work closely with the Commonwealth and State Departments of Health in ensuring we can respond accordingly to this pandemic and deploy RFDS resources to outbreak areas if and when they are needed.Read more
Remote consultation service in NSW/ACT
We provide medical advice by phone all year round. Our staff prescribe medical treatment, identify further care and give first aid advice in an emergency.Read more
Flying Doctor Telehealth
The Flying Doctor Telehealth service connects patients in rural Victorian communities with specialist appointments online via a video call. Specialists are located in Melbourne and some surrounding major towns and cities.Read more
Telehealth in WA
RFDS practitioners provide 24 hour a day telephone based medical consultation services to those living, working and travelling in remote and rural Western Australia.Read more