A new AU$13 million base for the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) has been heralded as a beginning of a ‘new era’ for the service. The base, in Adelaide, Australia, will allow the RFDS to deliver 24-hour emergency retrieval services, inter-hospital transfers and primary healthcare services to all South Australians.
The facility officially opened on 20 October and was made possible by fundraising, bequests, corporate and public donations, said RFDS central operations chairman David Hills. He added: “Four years in the planning and development, this purpose-built medical and aviation facility is delivering enhanced patient care and comfort in a patient transfer facility designed and equipped to complement any new hospital.”
The ‘modern and safe workspace’ has been designed for future growth into more services in southern Australian and expansion into the north. The company are also planning to introduce South Australia’s first permanently configured aeromedical jet in late 2018.
“The RFDS is proud to be the foundation tenant in the new aeromedical precinct at the western end of Adelaide Airport, which will eventually be home to our SA State Retrival Service partners in MedSTAR, along with rotary-wing providers,” continued Hills.
The new base includes stretcher bay for eight patients, stabilisation bay for acute patients, a hanger that can house six Pilatus PC-12 aircraft and a state-of-the-art engineering maintenance store and workshop.
“Without a doubt, our new patient facilities will add greatly to the comfort of our patients and improve efficiency of operations for our staff,” said Hills. “Looking ahead, we plan to invest more than $50 million over the next five years on the replacement of three medically-equipped Pilatus PC12 aircraft, the new Pilatus PC24 aeromedical jet and medical equipment upgrades of $1 million per annum.”