ELECTION PLEDGE: Queensland's Royal Flying Doctor Service will be able to continue their lifesaving service for the people of CQ after Labor pledged to form a partnership with the not-for-profit organisation.
ELECTION PLEDGE: Queensland's Royal Flying Doctor Service will be able to continue their lifesaving service for the people of CQ after Labor pledged to form a partnership with the not-for-profit organisation.

10 year partnership pledge has RFDS flying high

THE invaluable role the Royal Flying Doctor Service plays in Australia’s skies would be bolstered by a new partnership if Labor was returned to government in Saturday’s State Election.

Determined to ensure health care was available for all Queenslanders, no matter where they lived, Labor’s incumbent candidates for Keppel Brittany Lauga, and Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke have pledged the continuation of world-class aeromedical care for Queenslanders through a new 10-year inter-hospital transfer partnership with the RFDS.

Labor’s candidates visited the RFDS hangar at Rockhampton Airport on Thursday morning to make the latest of their health related election promises following commitments to Rockhampton’s Hospital, North Rockhampton Ambulance Station and the Capricorn Coast Hospital over the past week.

ELECTION PROMISE: Labor candidates for Keppel Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke said a re-elected Labor Government would sign up to a 10-year partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service to continue their lifesaving work.
ELECTION PROMISE: Labor candidates for Keppel Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke said a re-elected Labor Government would sign up to a 10-year partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service to continue their lifesaving work.

“Our government will sign up to a 10-year partnership with RFDS to continue their lifesaving work, providing inter-hospital transfers for patients needing aeromedical retrieval and specialist treatment across the state,” Ms Lauga said.

“This is great news for the base here in Rockhampton and the hardworking pilots, nurses and doctors who work for the RFDS.”

Mr O’Rourke said the partnership secured RFDS as the inter-hospital transfer service for the long-term.

“Importantly, it provides RFDS with certainty. Under Labor they will continue to receive funding from the State Government for a long time to come,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Because of this in-principle agreement, thousands more Queenslanders will be able to benefit from this life saving service.

HANGER VISIT: Labor candidates for Keppel Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke have been busy making health pledges around the Rockhampton region.
HANGER VISIT: Labor candidates for Keppel Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke have been busy making health pledges around the Rockhampton region.

“Transporting patients in medically fitted-out fixed wing planes gives Queenslanders living in regional and remote parts of the state better access to healthcare that will save their lives.”

Ms Lauga said the partnership was part of Labor’s Economic Recovery Plan to create jobs.

“The RFDS operate a lifesaving service that has impacted the lives of thousands of Queenslanders.

“This long-term partnership and upgrades to facilities go a long way in ensuring RFDS continue to their crucial work.”

The Palaszczuk Government recently also announced $20 million to go toward RFDS infrastructure upgrades across Queensland including patient transfer facilities and airstrips.

Royal Flying Doctor Service grateful for new partnership

Since 1995, the Queensland Government has partnered with the RFDS to deliver more than 230,000 inter-hospital transfers for patients needing aeromedical retrieval and specialist treatment across the state.

The new partnership arrangement secures RFDS as the inter-hospital transfer service provider for the long-term.

RFDS (Queensland Section) CEO Meredith Staib thanked the Queensland Government for its continued investment in the future of what has become one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisations in the world.

“This partnership provides certainty around the delivery of vital healthcare services for patients, but also great value for money for the state of Queensland,” Ms Staib said.

Royal Flying Doctor Service CEO Meridith Staib and chairman Russell Postle at the Townsville Airport. Picture: Evan Morgan
Royal Flying Doctor Service CEO Meridith Staib and chairman Russell Postle at the Townsville Airport. Picture: Evan Morgan

“As a not-for-profit organisation, every dollar generated by the RFDS is reinvested into the delivery of healthcare services in Queensland.

“With some of the world’s most highly trained and skilled aviation and medical staff, including 88 nurses, 66 pilots, and 60 doctors, the RFDS in Queensland is incredibly well positioned to uphold our promise to deliver the finest care to the furthest corner of the state.”

She said this was a commitment to the people of regional, rural and remote Queensland – one they were honoured to carry on for the people they had served for almost 100 years.

RFDS (Queensland Section) chairman Russell Postle said Rockhampton continued to be a key base for the delivery of inter-hospital transfer services for the people of Central Queensland.

“The base was established in 1995 as a strategic inter-hospital transfer facility, significantly increasing access to emergency healthcare for people across the region,” Mr Postle said.

“Today, the base boasts 22 staff, including nine pilots and 10 full-time and part-time nurses, a workforce that is among the world’s most highly trained and skilled aviation and medical staff.

“Using our two Beechcraft King Air B200 aircraft, we fly patients from Rockhampton, Gladstone, Barcaldine, Thangool and everywhere in between to emergency and specialist care. These two aircraft make up a strategic part of our network of 20 ‘flying intensive care units’ operated by the RFDS across nine bases in Queensland.”

Facts about the RFDS in Queensland

  • RFDS has partnered with Queensland Health to provide inter-hospital transfer services across Queensland since 1995
  • The RFDS fleet of 20 aircraft in Queensland deliver the inter-hospital transfer service between nine strategically located operational bases in Brisbane, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Townsville, Charleville, Cairns, Mount Isa, Longreach and Roma
  • Last year, RFDS helped 253 people every day in Queensland (that’s more than 92,000 occasions of care), including transporting more than 11,700 patients.

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