As champagne glasses clink and celebrations roll out with the coming of a new year, the Royal Flying Doctor Service will be continuing to deliver emergency services 24/7. Be it for illness or injury the RFDS will be transferring and delivering patients who need care to tertiary hospitals.
While no one expects illness or injury over the holiday festive season, the Flying Doctor is typically kept busy. Last year over the days 30 December 2018 to 2 January 2019, the RFDS:
- Undertook 700 flights to evacuate 376 patients (of which 96 were indigenous, 202 non-indigenous and 78 unknown). 28 of these patients were less than 5 years old, and 105 were in the 65+ age group.
- 72 of these patients were transported for injury or poisoning
- 54 for heart troubles
- 39 for diseases of the digestive system
- 17 for respiratory issues.
- 13 for mental health troubles
- 11 patients were transported for labour or pregnancy complications and babies needing urgent specialist care.
- The RFDS flew for 759 hours, covering 247,965 kilometres in these 4 days heralding the New Year.
The Flying Doctor urges all Australians to stay safe and remain vigilant of their health over the holiday period, particularly when travelling in rural and remote Australia.
Whilst the pilots, doctors and nurses of the RFDS hope for a quiet New Year, if something does go wrong, they will be available 24/7 across the 7.69 million square kilometers of Australia to ensure that all Australians get the help they need.