The Federal Government has committed $327 million over four years to the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS).
The four-year funding, including $84.1 million in new funding, will support continued fly and drive in medical, nursing, and dental services in remote areas, and a new national mental health program.
"RFDS cared for 335,000 Australians last year in the air, on the ground, or via telehealth. Our aeromedical and dental services now have certainty. We can now also deliver a new mental health service to underserved country areas in all states and the Northern Territory," RFDS CEO Dr Martin Laverty said.
Of the 335,000 people cared for in the last year, the RFDS delivered:
- 17,094 primary health care clinics in different remote locations
- 88,541 tele-health and video-health doctor and nurse consultations
- 10,832 episodes of dental care
- 36,799 air retrievals of patients
- 70,576 road transfers of patients
National Rural Health Alliance CEO Mark Diamond said: "The RFDS is not just about health care. Its 24-hour service assures people in remote Australia that care is a short flight away. The funding enables remote communities to rely on the RFDS to fly to help when needed."
Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan said: "Remote Australians see mental health professionals at one fifth the rate of city people. Large parts of country Australia have no registered psychologists. This new funding for mental health care in remote Australia will help to fill that gap."
More information about the RFDS is available on its website.