Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Australian Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has conducted 2,996 flights transporting people who have confirmed or highly suspect of having Covid-19. Over the same period the RFDS has conducted 191 Respiratory Clinics in remote areas, where it has seen 393 patients.
The RFDS has been rolling out Covid vaccinations in remote communities and has vaccinated 2,414 people to date under both state and federal funding. This includes remote communities such as Tibooburra, Eucla, Rawlinna, Forest Airport, Yowah, Jundah, Birdsville, Eulo, Windorah, Stonehenge, Yaraka and similar.
Delivering vaccines and transporting staff
Despite a short pause on a few remote Indigenous Western Australian communities due to border closures, Covid-19 vaccinations were delivered in Glendambo, Kingoonya, Commonwealth Hill and Innaminka in remote South Australia, and Timber Creek in remote Northern Territory.
The RFDS is also assisting state vaccination programs by facilitating the delivery of vaccines or transporting clinical staff. All vaccination programs are community-led and done in close coordination with Aboriginal Medical Services, Primary Health Networks, Local Hospital Districts, State governments and the Commonwealth Government.
Meanwhile, two helicopters will join the RFDS fleet, which gives the organization and its crews greater flexibility and capability to respond to inter-hospital patient transfer requirements.