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 63,837 telehealth consultations in 2020/2021.

Telehealth Consultation

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. 

medical chest

Medical Chests

The RFDS has 2,370 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.

Tele-health and medical chest

Telehealth and Medical Chest

RFDS medical officers provide a 24-hour medical consultation service via telephone and radio transmission.

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doctor on the phone

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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.

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Tele-health and Medical Chest

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.

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A man with diabetes has his blood pressure measured by a diaetes educator while using the Teleheath service6

Flying Doctor Telehealth

Supporting rural patients with complex or chronic health needs, Flying Doctor Telehealth allows patients to have a 100% bulk-billed appointment with their specialist via a secure video link, thereby reducing the time and burden of travelling long distances.

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Our 24/7 state-wide Coordination Centre in action

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.

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