Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$550,000 for Royal Flying Doctor Service upgrade in Dubbo

The Australian Government will contribute $550,000 to the upgrade of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) at Dubbo Airport which will benefit more than 40,000 people in western New South Wales.

This year the RDFS celebrates its 80th anniversary and the Government is delighted to be able to help this iconic bush service continue to provide vital emergency and primary health services to those who live in regional and remote Australia.

The upgrade will make RFDS services more effective and reduce aerial response times for remote communities.

The first stage of the upgrade will extend and double the medical unit, providing medical consulting rooms, a triage area and medical teaching facilities for University of Sydney Clinical School student training.

The $1.15 million refurbishment will allow a second aircraft to be based at Dubbo and will include the construction of a new tarmac area, improving access to the medical unit for patients and increasing the parking, refuelling and taxiing area for aircraft.

It will give the communities of Coonamble, Walgett, Collarenebri, Lightning Ridge, Goodooga, Weilmoringle, Brewarrina, Bourke and Enngonia better access to life-saving RFDS services.

The Dubbo base currently treats 3000 patients each year and has a staff of four nurses, five pilots, four doctors and three administrative/engineering personnel.

The upgrade will create the equivalent of 10 additional full-time positions and will assist recruitment and retention of qualified medical personnel to regional NSW through the partnerships with the University of Sydney Clinical School.