Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton pictured with RFDS Federation Executive Director Frank Quinlan.
The Morrison Joyce Government and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) will enter into a record 10-year strategic partnership, worth nearly $1 billion, to provide more certainty for regional, rural and remote patients who rely on the critical aeromedical service.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said this historic partnership will provide long-term security to enable this iconic Australian rural and remote service to plan better into the future.
“This new 10-year strategic partnership recognises the vital role the RFDS plays in the lives of Australians and gives the RFDS much more certainty to plan for the future and continue its life-saving work,” Mr Coulton said.
To support the partnership, the Morrison Joyce Government is committing additional funding of more than $80 million over the next 10 years, taking support for the RFDS to nearly $1 billion over 10 years from 2022-23.
“This builds on our Government’s commitment to the RFDS of $327 million since 2018-19, which has enabled the RFDS to undertake thousands of aeromedical evacuations, primary health clinics, dental outreach and multidisciplinary mental health outreach services to some of Australia’s most remote citizens, including in the Parkes electorate,” Mr Coulton said.
“The RFDS plays a vital role in our electorate, servicing rural and remote communities from Tibooburra to Lightning Ridge and everywhere in between.
“The importance of the RFDS was never more evident than last year, when the doctors, nurses, pilots and staff went above and beyond to help deliver thousands of vaccines to people across the Parkes electorate at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The new funding agreement will begin from 1 July 2022, and it is expected the Ten-Year Strategic Agreement will be in place soon after.
“The new formal agreement will give the RFDS certainty and allow it to offer more flexible services that are responsive to local patient’s needs,” Mr Coulton said.
“Expanded and continued support for the RFDS means better overall health management and preventive health care is available for patients across the Parkes electorate.
“The Morrison Joyce Government is delivering the most comprehensive investment in rural health of any modern era government, and this announcement is just another way we are supporting the health of rural and remote Australians.”