Plea to support older rural patients
FLYING doctors have been forced to fly enormous distances across southwest Queensland to transfer thousands of elderly residents to metropolitan hospitals for preventable illnesses, due to lack of proper facilities in rural areas.
Patients are being flown thousands of kilometres each year because health services are unable to keep up.
The RFDS conducted its own study into rural and remote medical services, looking at 23,377 people aged over 65 across rural Australia.
Royal Flying Doctor Service chief executive Dr Martin Laverty said rural and remote residents were being left behind.
“The population of remote Australia is getting older but the nation is yet to work out how to support people to age and stay in the bush,” Dr Laverty said.
“Neurological conditions of ageing – dementia and Alzheimer’s – will significantly increase within the bush in a decade.
Dr Laverty said the issue should be taken to the Royal Commission.
LOCAL AID: RFDS airlifts thousands of patients.