RURAL Northwest Health has joined forces with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
From March 1, the flying doctor service will provide non-emergency transport for people accessing the Warracknabeal and Hopetoun campuses of the health service.
The formal agreement includes transporting patients between home, hospital and specialist treatment.
Mobile Patient Care crews and equipment will be supplied through RFDS Victoria’s Horsham base.
Rural Northwest Health chief executive Catherine Morley said Mobile Patient Care would be a welcome addition to the health service.
“It’s services like this that provide improved access to health care for the residents of Warracknabeal, Beulah and Hopetoun,” she said.
RFDS Victoria chief executive Scott Chapman said the partnership could help alleviate travel stresses for some unwell Wimmera residents.
“Country people suffering serious and chronic conditions often need transport to Melbourne or regional centres for specialist care, and are faced with the burden of travel at a time when they are already experiencing the stress of an illness,” he said.
“We are committed to providing quality patient transport services in this part of the state, as part of our broader vision to improve the health of Victorian communities.”
The flying doctor service also has a similar agreement with Wimmera Health Care Group.
Horsham’s RFDS Mobile Patient Care base is one of more than 10 in regional centres statewide.
The regional bases are complemented by aircraft at Melbourne’s Essendon Airport.