Flying Doctor base in Maffra

THE Royal Flying Doctor Service announced a major expansion of its Victorian operations at West Sale Airport on Friday.

Launching the comprehensive air and road patient transport service Deputy Premier and Gippsland South MLA Peter Ryan said the Mobile Patient Care unit had a fleet of more than 30 vehicles, aircraft capability and more than 90 staff at bases throughout Victoria, including Maffra.

“The Royal Flying Doctor Service is an iconic Australian institution and it is great to see the Mobile Patient Care service expanding across Victoria,” he said.

“It can be difficult for patients who are unable to drive to get to medical appointments and specialist treatment.

“This service will benefit those people as well as many thousands of Victorians who need to travel for non-emergency medical treatment.”

Mr Ryan said additional Mobile Patient Care Units would be opened at Ballarat, Wodonga and Horsham by April this year to complement current bases in Maffra, Wonthaggi, Mildura, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Essendon (Air) and East Melbourne (road).

“Mobile Patient Care vehicles are on call seven days a week and will complement the services provided by Ambulance Victoria,” he said.

RFDS chief executive Scott Chapman said the Mobile Patient Care service would bring the expertise, reputation and experience of the Flying Doctors to non emergency transport in Victoria.

“Our service will be unique in that road transport vehicles will complement the work of our RFDS Victoria plane,” he said.

“It’s a tribute to the generosity and support of Victorian donors that the organisation is able to maintain its support for services in the Outback, while at the same time improving services in Victoria.”

Mr Chapman said RDFS Victoria would continue to maintain its focus on supporting emergency services across Australia.

“We will continue to work hard to support emergency care in the Outback and this is where the support of our wonderful donors will remain crucial.”