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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​.fly​ing​doc​tor​.org​.au/​a​s​s​e​t​s​/​d​o​c​u​m​e​n​t​s​/​R​F​D​S​_​I​n​d​i​g​e​n​o​u​s​_​H​e​a​l​t​h.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.