$1.1 million for critical care boost to LifeFlight Rescue in Bundaberg

The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP

Minister for Regional Health

Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment

Deputy Leader of the House

A critical care doctor will now be based at the Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue base seven days a week to boost the service’s capacity to transport critically ill patients thanks to a $1.1 million investment from the Morrison Joyce Federal Government.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt announced the funding today saying he was proud to deliver this funding that he had been campaigning for.

“I’ve heard loud and clear from the community that a critical care doctor was needed in Bundaberg, so LifeFlight could provide additional care to critically ill patients in our region,” Mr Pitt said.

“This investment from the Morrison Joyce Government recognises the vital role LifeFlight Rescue plays in the Bundaberg region and acknowledges the existing funding commitment for this project from our local community.

“The presence of a critical care doctor, seven days a week during daylight hours, equips the LifeFlight Rescue Bundaberg service to respond to conditions ranging from cardiac issues and serious injuries, to the transfer of expectant mothers and infants for specialised care in Brisbane.

“I know the local community has been working hard to get a doctor on board the chopper and it just reinforces that we live in a region filled with people wanting to give back to the community.”

LifeFlight is a charity that operates an advanced fleet of rescue helicopters and air ambulance jets providing 24/7 lifesaving rescue services to people across Queensland.

Federal Regional Health Minister Dr David Gillespie said Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue service is the only emergency helicopter-based service in the region and provides aeromedical transfer services for regional and remote communities.

“It was great to meet the LifeFlight team during my recent visit to the Bundaberg LifeFlight facility,” Dr Gillespie said.

“I heard loud and clear that having a critical care doctor available seven days a week at the Bundaberg base will substantially boost Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s capacity to provide support to critically ill patients in the region, and it will complement the Royal Flying Doctors Service – also based in Bundaberg.

“Every person in Queensland should have equal access to free emergency aeromedical care, and that’s what this funding helps provide for rural and remote communities.”

LifeFlight Chief Medical Officer Dr Allan MacKillop said the Critical Care doctor will work with an existing QAS Flight paramedic to complement each other’s skill sets.

“The addition of a Critical Care doctor to Bundaberg is a natural progression for the base and will further enhance our already exceptional aeromedical service to the region,” Dr MacKillop said.

“We are very grateful for the funding commitment from the Morrison Joyce Federal Government.

“This would not have been possible without the support and donations from the community – particularly from Ron and Fay Simpson, who were instrumental in kicking off the project.”

Mr Pitt said Bundaberg Base’s aeromedical footprint covers 34 different locations in Queensland, from Hervey Bay, Kingaroy, Gladstone, Barcaldine and beyond.

The Morrison Joyce Government is providing $1.1 million to RACQ LifeFlight Rescue to employ a critical care doctor 7 days a week, during the day, over 3 years for its aeromedical rescue service in Bundaberg.

In 2020-21, LifeFlight Rescue helicopters performed 2,133 community-based missions operating out of five bases.

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