Providing Aeromedical Care to Indigenous Communities

25 Nov 2016

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has today released its newest research paper entitled “Providing Aeromedical Care to Indigenous Communities.”

You can read the full report at https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/assets/documents/RFDS_Indigenous_Health.pdf.

This research paper presents, for the first time, three years of RFDS patient data outlining the diagnostic reasons for which Indigenous Australians in different locations of remote and rural Australia were transported by the RFDS.

The research demonstrates that almost one-third (17,606) of all RFDS aeromedical retrievals are for Indigenous Australians. Of these:

  • 14% were for children under the age of five
  • 17.9% were in response to injury or poisoning
  • 14.4% were in response to a stroke, heart attack or disease of the circulatory system
  • 12.8% were in response to pneumonia, asthma or other disease of the respiratory system.

The research recommends more resources for health service provision in remote Indigenous communities. The report also recommends development of new cultural credentials for mainstream health services, to better meet Indigenous health care need - something the Flying Doctor is taking on-board as part of our continued efforts to better service these communities.

RFDS worked with key Indigenous health organisations and policymakers in preparing this paper. We hope the release of the paper provides an opportunity to consider other methods by which health care services in remote communities can be enhanced.


Please feel free to contact me if you require any additional information.

Dr Lara Bishop
Manager Research & Policy Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
Level 2, 10-12 Brisbane Avenue
Barton ACT 2600

M 0414 485 133 E lara.bishop@rfds.org.au