Labor to keep Royal Flying Doctor service flying in Tasmania

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $7 million into future-proofing the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Tasmania.

Labor’s investment will go towards the upgrade of the RFDS base at Launceston Airport – with improved facilities increasing the capacity of the RFDS to service Tasmania.  

The Liberals have cut health and hospitals in Tasmania – ripping $35 million out of Tasmanian hospitals and locking in huge future cuts.

Labor is prioritising health – because we think that Tasmania deserves better than the neglect of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government.  

This is a much-needed investment in a service that is integral to Tasmania. The current base was built by the RFDS just over 20 years ago, from donations and fundraising, and is critical for remote communities including those living on the Bass Strait Islands who don’t have easy access to hospital services.

Labor’s investment will fund the construction of a new base including:

  • A fully integrated helicopter, aeroplane and ambulance service.
  • A new ward of up to 12 beds able to hold patients in the event of a natural disaster, pandemic or infectious diseases outbreak.
  • Upgraded facilities to meet the national accreditation standards and the RFDS aero medical standards.
  • Facilities for the staff who are required to be on site 24/7. 

Today’s announcement builds on Labor’s existing investments in health in Tasmania – including $30 million to address elective surgery waiting lists, a $15 million mental health hub in Launceston and $4.5 million to ensure Tasmanians have better access to specialists.

Tasmania is hurting under the impact of the Liberals’ cuts – under State and Federal Liberal Governments the state’s elective surgery waiting list has ballooned to more than 9,000 patients.

Tasmania’s ambulances are waiting outside our hospitals for longer, leaving them unable to attend emergencies. And patients are waiting longer to have their surgery.

For six years, Scott Morrison and the Liberals’ only response to this growing crisis has been more cuts and chaos.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for more health investment or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals – paid for by bigger cuts to the services families rely on.

After six years of Liberals’ cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready to deliver a fair go for all Australians, not just the top end of town.

/Public Release. View in full here.