Rio Tinto pacific operations managing director Kellie Parker and Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) chief executive Meredith Staib as the two companies form a partnership to promote rural and remote Queensland health services.
Rio Tinto pacific operations managing director Kellie Parker and Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) chief executive Meredith Staib as the two companies form a partnership to promote rural and remote Queensland health services.

RFDS transfers 419 patients from Gladstone

GLADSTONE airport’s patient transfer facility has been working overtime in the past financial year with 419 people transferred by the Royal Flying Doctor Service for emergency and specialist care.

Every day calls are put out for Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics to transfer locals to the facility, which was built with the support of the Gladstone Regional Council and Rio

Tinto.

An RFDS spokesman said the main reasons for the transfer of patients were heart attacks, sepsis, and respiratory issues affecting newborns.

“The majority of patients were flown by the RFDS from Gladstone to specialist tertiary care in Brisbane – principally the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Prince Charles Hospital

and Queensland Children’s Hospital,” the spokesman said.

“In Queensland, we treat on average 250 patients each day, including flying 30 patients per

day to specialist tertiary care.

“Even during the pandemic, the RFDS has remained fully operational, transporting more than

1900 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients across the country, including 40 in

Queensland.

“Today the RFDS delivers more than 370,000 episodes of patient care across Australia every

year – equivalent to assisting someone every two minutes.”

The Observer is also aware of a number of transfers of patients from the port city to Rockhampton for medical care at Rockhampton Hospital.

The spokesman said in Queensland, the RFDS provided healthcare services over an area of 1.73 million square kilometres from nine strategically located bases in Cairns, Townsville, Mount Isa, Charleville, Longreach, Roma, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Brisbane.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales unveils the newest addition to the fleet during a visit to a Royal Flying Doctor Service base in Queensland.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales unveils the newest addition to the fleet during a visit to a Royal Flying Doctor Service base in Queensland.

“These services are delivered via a fleet of 20 medically equipped aeromedical aircraft,” the spokesman said.

“Since 1995, we have proudly partnered with Queensland Health to transport more than

230,000 patients through the inter-hospital transfer service.”

Established in Queensland in 1928 by the Reverend John Flynn, the RFDS has grown to

become the world’s largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisation, the spokesman said.

“The RFDS comprises a fleet of 75 aircraft, the operation of 24 aeromedical bases and six remote primary health care facilities,” the spokesman said.

“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.”

The spokesman said services were delivered on a day-to-day basis by six RFDS operating sections – Central Operations (serving SA/NT), Queensland Section, South Eastern Section (serving NSW/ACT), Tasmania Section, Victoria Section and Western Operations (serving WA).

“The RFDS has been voted eight times Australia’s Most Reputable Charity by the Reputation

Institute Charity Reputation Index,” the spokesman said.

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