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Patients to benefit from remote transport boost

For more information, contact Terry Redman (Member for Warren-Blackwood).

  • $67.39 million towards Country Patient Transport Project
  • Two new and two replacement Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft
  • Support for regional ambulance services
  • Made possible by Royalties for Regions

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) will get two new and two replacement aircraft, and a new Broome base as part of a $67.39 million Royalties for Regions investment in the Country Patient Transport Project announced today.

Health Minister John Day said the RFDS provided a vital health link for people living in remote areas of Western Australia and the Broome base and two new aircraft would allow it to continue that service.

“Transporting more than 9,000 patients a year, the RFDS provides a vital health link for people living in remote areas of WA and the recently opened Broome base and two new aircraft will help it meet growing demand,” Mr Day said.

“The RFDS is contracted by the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) to provide inter-hospital transfers for regional West Australians; a service which is critical for access to emergency care for rural patients.

“Over the past six years, transfers have grown by about five per cent a year and performance targets have improved despite increasing pressures on the service.”

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said enhancing the delivery of sustainable services was vital to meet current and future needs of regional communities.

“Under this initiative, $8 million will go to the WA Country Health Service supporting ambulance services in Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek,” Mr Redman said.

“This funding will also allow the St John Ambulance community paramedic program to continue recruiting and training volunteers at 22 centres across regional WA.”

The Patient Assistance Travel Scheme (PATS) will also receive $32.23 million to meet the treatment needs of eligible patients who need to travel away from home for treatment.

Fact File

  • The $195.58m Country Patient Transport Project includes $67.39m from Royalties for Regions, $79.51m from the WA Country Health Service and $48.68m from the RFDS
  • The Royalties for Regions funding includes $23.16m to establish an RFDS base at Broome International Airport and two extra and two replacement aircraft
  • $4m will go towards funding flight and medical crew for these aircraft
  • PATS assists about 36,000 regional patients with transport each year
  • For more information about PATS, visit http://www.wacountry.health.wa.gov.au