The first new Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) facility in Western Australia in 50 years has been opened today in Broome.
RFDS CEO Grahame Marshall said: “This is a significant milestone for the Flying Doctor and will not only increase our physical footprint, but most importantly build our capability in delivering the most effective aeromedical care to all West Australians, 365 days per year."
Marshall said the demand for the RFDS’s life-saving services has increased substantially in the Kimberley region over the past five years, and the new facilities will ensure the organisation can continue to meet the increasing and changing demand for its aeromedical services in the north in the fastest and most efficient way. “With two aircraft hangars and a state-of-the-art patient treatment centre, the introduction of additional capacity to Broome will mean the RFDS is better placed to more quickly respond to emergencies throughout the Kimberley and the Pilbara, enabling reduced flight times, and ultimately providing better outcomes for patients in the region,” he explained. Marshall added that in 2015, the RFDS flew over 1,100 patients to and from Broome, making it the organisation’s busiest transport hub in the north of the state.
The RFDS now has 15 Broome-based RFDS crew members in town, including four doctors, five nurses and five pilots. “This is the first new RFDS facility in more than 50 years and we, along with the people in the Kimberley, are very excited,” Marshall said.
The development and delivery of the new RFDS Broome facilities, including the construction and fit-out of the two new hangars and patient treatment facility, has received strong financial support from the Australian Government, the RFDS stated. A Lottery West grant enabled the acquisition of operational equipment and information technology systems for the new facilities.