RFDS targets mental health

Small Aircraft from the Flying Doctors Service that has just landed in the Australian outback. Queensland, Australia

The Royal Flying Doctor Service will use $84 million it received in May’s federal Budget to expand its existing services and establish a mental health outreach program for Australians living in rural and remote areas.

The iconic service has been around for 90 years and provides extensive primary healthcare and 24-hour emergency response to people over the country’s vast expanses.

This includes regular fly-in-fly-out GP, Nursing and Allied Health Clinics to rural and remote communities.

The latest funding has allowed the vital service to launch a new Mental Health Outreach program, beginning in January 2019, that will provide professional mental health services to rural and remote areas in need.

In the past year alone, the Royal Flying Doctor Service cared for 335,000 Australians in the air, on the ground, or via telehealth.

Rural Health Minister Bridget McKenzie said the Royal Flying Doctor Service provided crucial access to primary healthcare services for people living and working in rural and remote Australia.

“We know that Australians living in regional areas often have limited access to essential services and support that those in metropolitan cities take for granted,” Ms McKenzie said.

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