The Royal Flying Doctor Service has announced expansion plans that will help extend its reach to Queenslanders in need.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service has announced expansion plans that will help extend its reach to Queenslanders in need.

Public support needed to fund new rural RFDS base

The Royal Flying Doctor Service is asking Central Queenslanders to dig deep and donate what they can to help expand its services.

The RFDS on Monday announced statewide infrastructure plans for a new aeromedical base to

service regional, rural and remote Queensland.

The new, built-for-purpose base at Mount Isa will replace the existing, 60-year-old facility and

allow Flying Doctor crews to deliver even greater levels of patient care.

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) chief executive officer Meredith Staib

said the service was calling on the assistance of its loyal supporters to support the build.

“The Flying Doctor is now calling on the help of its supporters to raise $3.2 million to support the build of a new base,” she said.

“The new facility will feature improved transfer facilities for patients, new break rooms for on-call clinical staff and additional carparking for staff and emergency vehicles.

“The patient transfer facility will allow our crews to move patients from RFDS aircraft to

Queensland Ambulance vehicles, out of the elements and in a comfortable, clinical

environment, ensuring the best patient care possible.”

Ms Staib said the new facility would bring more than just greater levels of healthcare to the

north-west.

“In Mount Isa, the RFDS generates $16.3 million of economic activity per year and supports

119 full-time equivalent jobs,” she said.

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“We expect the build of this base to generate 43 new full-time jobs and provide around $3.7

million in wages and salaries.

“We will be seeking further funding for the new base through the Commonwealth

Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, with the remainder of the cost of the build

being sourced through philanthropic support.”

Each year, RFDS Mount Isa crews transport almost 950 patients to emergency and

specialist care.

They also deliver primary health care services to more than 5400 patients

each year, from Burketown to Bedourie.

Former Burketown resident, Ebony Robinson, was one of these patients, receiving primary

health care via the regular RFDS clinic in Burketown throughout her first pregnancy.

However, it was the subsequent care and two emergency retrievals of her newborn son,

Ollie, who was born with two separate heart conditions, which highlighted to her the

importance of the Flying Doctor rural and remote areas across Queensland.

“Without the support of the Flying Doctor in Mount Isa, Ollie’s story may have been very

different,” Mrs Robinson said.

“But as much as we rely on the RFDS, they also rely on us. If anyone is thinking of donating

to the RFDS, I would highly encourage it. They saved my son’s life.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to the RFDS Mount Isa Base Appeal can do so HERE.

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