Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Program

The Commonwealth has funded the RFDS since the 1930’s to deliver the RFDS Program, which includes provision of emergency aeromedical evacuation services in rural and remote Australia.

Page last updated: 15 June 2018

Program Aim

The Program aims to support people living, working and travelling in rural and remote areas of Australia by ensuring access to emergency Primary Aeromedical Evacuations and other essential primary health care services where there are little or no other services.

Program Objective

The objective of the RFDS Program is to deliver sustainable, flexible, effective and efficient services to people in areas beyond the Normal Medical Infrastructure in locations of market failure by providing access to:

  • Primary Aeromedical Evacuations
  • Primary Health Clinics, including GP, Nursing and Allied Health services
  • Remote Consultations (via telephone / videoconference link)
  • Medical Chests (containing essential emergency medical supplies)

RFDS Dental Outreach Program

The Government announced a dental outreach service during the 2016 election campaign to be delivered by the RFDS.

Program Aim

The dental program aims to address the access gap for rural and remote populations. Funding of $11 million has been provided for a two year period from 1 April 2017.

Program Objective

The RFDS will deliver:

  • fly-in, fly-out, or drive-in, drive out dental services to populations living in areas defined to be beyond the normal dental infrastructure and in areas of market failure;
  • services to locations where there are no other private or public dental services, including services that attract a rebate through the Medicare Benefits Schedule; and
  • services that are planned and conducted based on need and program priorities in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and other service providers.

General information

The RFDS Program is managed by the Health Workforce Division, Department of Health.

RFDS Program Guidelines July 2015

Word version: Royal Flying Doctor Service Program Guidelines (Word 615KB)
PDF version: Royal Flying Doctor Service Program Guidelines (PDF 434KB)