ISTAT News | 24 August 2020
COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipient Spotlight: Royal Flying Doctor Service Australia
Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Australia has now transported over 650 suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients by air and road. The level of dedication and meticulous operation to do this safely and professionally whilst demonstrating compassion and care for the patient is incredibly challenging.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, all frontline staff start the day with a temperature check, followed by a strict set of protocols and safety measures.
Allison, Patient Transport Officer starts her working day since the COVID-19 outbreak. “We take our temperature first thing when we arrive at work. We’re rigorous about that now,” she said.
“We’ve got a special COVID-19 ambulance, it’s got the bare essentials on board. We get all suited up with double gloves, mask and hood,” says Patient Transport Officer Allison.
“There’s a lot of intimacy lost between us and the patient. It’s hard to reassure people in the same way when they can’t see your face. I always tell people that they may not be able to see my face under here, but I’m definitely smiling!”
Dr. Bec Jacobs is serving the rural community of Robinvale in north-west Victoria, coordinating a response to COVID-19 working with local services to support residents through this challenge.
“The testing ‘fever clinic’ we’ve set up at the Robinvale hospital has a drive through testing clinic, with self-testing kitsallows locals to be safely tested for COVID-19. The patient can drive to the front of the hospital, take a self-testing kit, do the swab, drop it in the box, and return home to continue self-isolation.”
"The Flying Doctor support for these remote communities in Robinvale during the COVID-19 crisis has been critical," Dr Jacobs says, “I have the privilege of seeing people on some of the best days of their life. But we can also make a real difference even on the worst days of their lives. I get the privilege of being there to share that. And being able to change that.”
For more information on the incredible work of Royal Flying Doctor Service Australia, please visit https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/.