Royal Flying Doctor Service and Rio Tinto partner to improve remote and rural Queensland health services

07 May 2020

MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) and Rio Tinto have formed a new partnership to improve emergency and remotely delivered health care services across regional Queensland.

Under the partnership, Rio Tinto has pledged A$1.25 million to RFDS Queensland over five years, underlining the company’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders and to providing resources to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership adds to Rio Tinto’s longstanding support of the Flying Doctor in Western Australia.

The new partnership will

  • Improve remote delivery of primary health care and mental health services across the state through support of RFDS Queensland’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
  • Fund construction and maintenance of a new patient transfer facility in Weipa and maintenance of the existing patient transfer facility in Gladstone. These transfer facilities improve patient care and operational response times for critical patients and upgrade comfort levels for patients, crews and service-delivery partners.
  • Contribute to construction of a world-class Aeromedical Retrieval Simulation Hub in Bundaberg. The hub will use virtual reality, augmented reality and high-fidelity immersive training scenarios to attract and train aeromedical professionals for the benefit of the whole state.

Rio Tinto Aluminium Pacific Operations managing director Kellie Parker said “We are proud to extend to Queensland our longstanding partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our people and communities, and the Flying Doctor provides a vital service to remote and rural areas. This partnership will help improve medical access and services for people in these areas across the state, including where we operate, at Gladstone and on Cape York Peninsula.”

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) chief executive Meredith Staib said the Service was pleased to welcome Rio Tinto as a Principal Partner.

“This new million-dollar partnership will allow our service to deliver even greater levels of care across the state,” Ms Staib said.

“Improving our infrastructure does require a significant investment and strategic partnerships such as this will allow us to do just that.

“We are incredibly grateful to Rio Tinto for their commitment to help us deliver even better health outcomes for Queenslanders.”

The A$1.25 million RFDS Queensland partnership is the first major investment announced in Queensland as part of a US$25 million commitment Rio Tinto has made to support communities around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. The commitment takes Rio Tinto’s total estimated voluntary global community contributions to around US$60 million for 2020.

More information on Rio Tinto’s COVID-19 response can be found here.

About the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS):

The RFDS has been saving lives in regional, rural and remote Australia for more than 91 years. In addition to the 24/7 aeromedical retrieval of the critically ill or injured, the RFDS delivers a broad range of essential primary and preventative healthcare services, including telehealth, mental health, oral health and chronic disease management.

Established in Queensland by the Reverend John Flynn in 1928, the RFDS has grown to become the world’s largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisation, comprising a fleet of 75 aircraft, the operation of 24 aeromedical bases, and six remote primary health care facilities.

Today, the RFDS delivers more than 370,000 episodes of patient care across Australia every year – equivalent to assisting someone every two minutes.

In Queensland, the RFDS treats on average 250 patients each day, including flying 30 patients per day to specialist care. Since 1995, we have proudly partnered with Queensland Health to transport more than 230,000 patients through the inter-hospital transfer service.

As part of the Hinkler Regional Deal Implementation Plan, the Australian Government has committed A$15 million in funding to support the design and delivery of the Aeromedical Retrieval Simulation Hub in Bundaberg.

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Rio Tinto Media Relations, Australia

Jonathan Rose
T +61 3 9283 3088
M +61 447 028 913

Matt Chambers
T +61 3 9283 3087
M +61 433 525 739

Jesse Riseborough
T +61 8 6211 6013
M +61 436 653 412

RFDS Queensland Media Relations

Alena Wilson-Dodd
T +61 7 3852 7587
M +61 408 418 067

Category: general

Source: Rio Tinto