Holistic medicine provision in the outback

John T Wenham, Malcolm Moore and Zachary Pancer
Med J Aust 2017; 206 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00749
Published online: 6 March 2017

Overcoming the barriers to chronic disease management in rural areas

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has been providing essential medical services to rural and remote Australia since its inception in 1927. The service, founded by Reverend John Flynn, started as a single base at Cloncurry in Queensland1 and now operates out of 21 bases, providing both primary care clinics and emergency retrieval services. RFDS has been servicing clinics from its Broken Hill base since the 1940s; by 1970, there were three full-time doctors conducting the clinics and running the on-call service via the radio network. In 2016, Broken Hill doctors treated patients in 17 different clinic locations each month. On most weekdays, there are general practitioners at three clinic sites, along with dentists, nurses and mental health practitioners.

  • John T Wenham1
  • Malcolm Moore2
  • Zachary Pancer3

  • 1 Broken Hill Department of Rural Health, University of Sydney, Broken Hill, NSW
  • 2 Rural Clinical School, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
  • 3 University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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