The Royal Flying Doctor Service is non-profitable organisation, which provides millions of people in outback regions of Australia with medical assistance. The organisation has a unique medical service where the team provides aeromedical assistance to people extensively spread in isolated communities of Australia.
In this report, an in-depth study of the organisation is carried out and in doing so the potential funding support can be identified who may help the organisation in future.
The organisation supports the community that lies in the outback region of Australia. The dedicated team of the organisation works hand in hand in order to deliver quality aeromedical services along with other medical assistance. The remote or isolated boundaries of Australia where population is scarce, these places get support from the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The outback regions of Australia have poor or no medical facility or service as a result of which RFDS team provide the necessary and essential medical support for improving the health conditions of these communities.
The team of RFDS as of now has covered almost 7.69 million square kilometres of outback region in providing quality medical service (Flyingdoctor.org.au, 2018). The clinics set up by the organisation in these areas have provided numerous patients with professional medical services. Almost 3, 36,358 patients were treated in such clinics in 2017/2018 (Flyingdoctor.org.au, 2018).
Role of Royal Flying Doctor Services in community
The organisation has been delivering quality health services to people across Australia since 90 years. The organisation not only delivers aeromedical service, even so it organises awareness programmes in the remote and rural areas of Australia in order to improve the health conditions. For instance, the HEALTHY LIVING PROGRAMME organised by RSFD encourage and educate people about choosing a balanced lifestyle habits in Central Australia (Johnston, Doyle, Morgan, Atkinson-Briggs, Firebrace, Marika & Rowley, 2013). This has benefited thousands of people in outback regions from potential health threats. Apart from these, RFDS also hold research which helps in identifying the health concerns which goes unrecognised for people living in remote locations of Australia and thus, raising the topic to the country. One such issue is mental health disorder. According to the research conducted by RFDS in 2017, people living in remote regions of Australia suffer from mental disorder at double the rate compared to city people of Australia (Wakerman & Humphreys, 2013). However, only few are able to access the mental health services due to the lack of awareness along with scarcity of mental health services. RFDS with its awareness programmes, researches and most importantly health services have benefited the rural community over a long period of time and continues to do so.
Objectives of the organisation
RFDS was founded in the first place to provide medical service to places where there was poor medical facility which is in the outback region of Australia. Since then its aim is to provide flexible, sustainable and quality healthcare services to people living or working in secluded or isolated areas of Australia (Health.gov.au, 2018). The following are the objectives of the program:
- Aeromedical evacuations where patients are transferred from the remote places to a better hospital facility.
- Provide patients of outback regions with general practitioners, nurses and health services.
- Provide health consultations via e-health services.
- Provide necessary medical equipment’s through medical chests thus, treating patients on-site.
- Organise awareness programmes for people living in outback regions.
- Provide emergency evacuations for concerned patients.
Fundamental practices of Royal Flying Doctor Services
The key role of the organisation is to provide medical provision to people living in remote or working in outback regions of Australia. The RFDS have following roles that helps the community for its better:
Emergency Aeromedical Resurgence – RFDS delivers emergency evacuation programmes for patients who need immediate medical assistance. The aircraft team that are at service initiate the task of evacuation if the patient need appropriate hospital treatment as the outback regions lack that (Johnsen, Fattah, Sollid & Rehn, 2016). The team also offers on ground medical assistance as the aircraft with which the team arrives is well equipped with all the necessary requirements for primary medical care.
Health clinics – The organisation also carry out regular fly-in and fly-out sessions and provide with general practitioners (GP), nursing and allied health clinics to rural communities where there is no availability of appropriate medical system. Almost 3, 36,358 patients were treated by the RFDS clinics (Flyingdoctor.org.au, 2018). Approximately 44 clinics are set up every day which offers all the primary healthcare services. Taking into account women’s healthcare, the team of RFDS also delivers women’s GP to small communities of Victoria. This have made many female patients to come forward with health issues who are not comfortable to consult male doctors. RFDS has segregated its team to different rural regions of Australia in order to deliver swift, quality medical service.
RFDS performs health consultations via telephone communication which forms one of the key services of RFDS. The health workers or individuals can contact at RFDS base for medical assistance. The organisation’s registered health professionals provide consultations to these calls via telephone communication (Raison, Khan & Challacombe, 2015). In 2016/2017 it performed 88,541 telephone health consultation (Flyingdoctor.org.au, 2018).
Health promotional/educational programmes
The organisation continuously make efforts to educate and raise awareness regarding health issues which generally goes unrecognised. Creating awareness for mental health disorder was one of the initiative that RFDS took responsibility for. People of rural Australia suffer from mental health disorder, however due to lack of health services these go unrecognised. RFDS by conducting researches has revealed this issue among rural people and eventually establishing mental health services in those locations as well. Adding to this the organisation also conducts educational programmes where the team of RFDS visit schools in remote locations of Australia and provide them with knowledge related with health.
History of Royal Flying Doctor Service
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) founded in the year 1928 by Reverend John Flynn is an aeromedical organisation that provides principal medical care to people living in rural and remote areas of Australia (Flyingdoctor.org.au, 2018). However, the initial initiative of this organisation started in the year 1917 when Flynn received a letter from a medical lieutenant for providing medical assistance to outback regions. This suggestion gave idea to Flynn for the formation of the organisation. An experimental journey was initiated in the year 1928 and thus the first flight providing medical service from Royal Flying Doctor Service took place (Flyingdoctor.org.au, 2018). Since then the organisation has been in service for 90 years providing millions of people with aeromedical assistance in remote and rural communities of Australia.
Funding for the organisation
The Royal Flying Doctor Service receive generous amount of resources and funding’s from various reputed institutions and companies. It also receives funds from international partners such as Royal Flying Doctor Service – Friends in the UK that includes trustees who help to raise funds for the organisation (Herbert, Mercer & Herbert, 2015). Other companies such as Air BP is one of the most valued partners of the organisation. The company provides fuel services to the organisation which plays a key role for RFDS’s aircraft transport system. Apart from these, the organisation gain various support from varied institutions financially as well as resourcefully.
However, the organisation could get funding from tons of other government or non-governmental organisation as well. For instance, in order to provide convenient health set up clinics by using tents some companies could provide resources to the organisation such as Australian Canvas Company. Apart from these, the organisation could always get resources that are related with medical equipments which are highly essential for the organisation. Companies such as Lipotek, Celtaxsys, so on can offer essential health related equipments.
From the above discussion it can be concluded that the Royal Flying Doctor Service provides the rural communities of outback Australia with medical assistance. Their core service such as aeromedical have proved to be an achievement for the betterment of the isolated and rural areas of Australia. As a result the organisation receives tremendous amount of support from the government as well as non-governmental institutions. However, it has a scope for gaining more funding partners in future.
Flyingdoctor.org.au. (2018). History of the Flying Doctor | Royal Flying Doctor Service. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Jul. 2018].
Health.gov.au. (2018). Department of Health | Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Program. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].
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