Plea to sup­port older ru­ral pa­tients

Chinchilla News - - BEST OF THE WEST -

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.

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