Rockhampton Flying Doctor reaches major milestone
FOR a quarter of a century, the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Rockhampton has provided a crucial medical service to the city and its surrounds.
Making more than 2500 trips a year and flying about seven patients a day since its beginning in 1995, the Rockhampton base now comprises 22 staff, including nine pilots and 10 nurses.
Clinical and Base Operations acting manager Peta Cross said since its inception, access to emergency healthcare for people across Central Queensland had increased significantly.
“We fly patients from Rockhampton, Gladstone, Barcaldine, Thangool and everywhere in between to emergency and specialist care,” she said.
“Our Rockhampton crew alone flew more than 1.4 million kilometres last year over 4,308 hours – that’s the equivalent of almost two trips to the moon and back.”
RFDS Queensland covers 1.73 million square kilometres and has bases in Rockhampton, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Townsville, Charleville, Cairns, and Mount Isa.
Last year, it flew more than 11,700 people to hospitals across the state.
CEO Meredith Staib said 1995 was a significant year for the organisation because of the opening of bases in Rockhampton and Brisbane.
“The opening of a dedicated base in Rockhampton and Brisbane allowed the RFDS to expand operations to deliver our own retrieval services to regional, rural and remote Queensland, as well as commencing a vital inter-hospital transfer service for the Queensland Government,” she said.
“From our aeromedical beginnings, the RFDS has grown to deliver a broad range of essential primary and preventive healthcare services, including medical chests, telehealth services, immunisations, GP and nurse clinic consults, dental consults, and mental health and wellbeing services.
“I thank our wonderful staff for their continued dedication to uphold our promise to deliver the finest care to the furthest corner of our state.”