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Extra Government Funding for Royal Flying Doctor Service

The Minister for Rural Health, Fiona Nash, has today announced that agreement has been reached for the provision of additional funding for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) to help give people living, working and travelling in rural and remote regions continued access to crucial medical services when they need them the most.

“In the 2015 Federal Budget the Coalition Government allocated an additional $20 million to the RFDS which takes the Government’s total contribution to approximately $135 million from 2015-16 to 2016-17,” Minister Nash said.

“A new funding agreement has now been finalised with this uniquely Australian health services which enables the RFDS to continue to save lives by providing vital aeromedical evacuations, general practice and nursing clinics, remote consultations and medical chests.

“Our financial support for the RFDS is in line with the Coalition Government’s commitment to deliver essential medical services for people in remote areas where no other such services are available,” Minister Nash said.

“Building and strengthening rural health is high on the Coalition Government’s agenda and despite the current fiscal environment, we are committed to supporting the vital work of the RFDS.”

The RFDS is a not-for-profit organisation which has been funded by the Australian Government since the 1930’s.The Commonwealth is the largest funder of the RFDS, nationally.

“The RFDS is an essential component of the Coalition Government’s commitment to rural and remote Australia,” Minister Nash said.

“The objective of the RFDS programme is to deliver sustainable, flexible, effective and efficient services to people in areas beyond the normal medical infrastructure in locations of market failure. This is achieved through the delivery of primary aeromedical evacuations, GP and nursing clinics, remote (telephone) consultations, and medical chests containing pharmaceutical and medical supplies to isolated communities and outstations in rural and remote Australia.

“In 2014-15, on behalf of the Commonwealth, the RFDS delivered 4,420 primary aeromedical evacuations; more than 5,760 GP and nursing clinics; 2,354 medical chests and over 64,000 remote consultations.

“In addition to primary aeromedical evacuations and other primary health care services, funding will support the delivery of services to the remote Bass Strait islands. The RFDS will also receive funding support for aircraft and non-aircraft capital and governance reforms,” Minister Nash said.

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