The latest annual patient and aviation statistics released by the Queensland section of Australian fixed-wing air ambulance operator, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), reveal a total of 12,319 patients were flown to emergency or specialist care in the 2020-21 financial year.
While the new Australian television drama series, RFDS, portrays fictional scenarios attended to by the service, in reality RFDS crews are providing on average 190 occasions of care each day. More than 40,000 patients accessed RFDS primary health care services during the past year, including GP and nursing clinics, dental clinics and mental health clinics.
RFDS (Queensland Section) chief executive officer Meredith Staib said she was immensely proud of the work delivered by staff each and every day. “It's been another big year for the RFDS, as demonstrated by the incredible volume of work we've performed,” she says. “The RFDS, working closely in collaboration with Commonwealth and State departments, has also delivered more than 1,800 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 25 rural and remote communities. Administration of the vaccine is an extension of our primary health care work and one that we have been pleased to support.”
RFDS pilots, operating a fleet of King Air 200s and 350s, flew a total of 24,279 hours over 8.3 million kilometres, landing 22,587 times.
Staib says the RFDS remained unwavering in its mission to deliver the finest care to the furthest corner of the state. "For more than 93 years the RFDS has helped rural and remote Queenslanders overcome the tyranny of distance to access healthcare services. Our efforts over the past year demonstrate our commitment to ensuring continuity of this service well into the future.”