The Royal Flying Doctor Service main mission is to provide health services to those living or travelling in remote areas of Australia. Working from thirty-nine clinics around the country this dedicated team of professionals cares for on average 750 patients everyday, flying more than 72,000 kilometres daily with sixty-one aircraft.
The RFDS began with the vision of John Flynn, a Presbyterian minister who set up bush hospitals for miners, road workers, railway men and others. Concerned with the lack of health care access for all those living in the bush, Reverend Flynn helped to create an aerial medical service in Cloncurry, Queensland and within years the service expanded to other parts of the country. This vital link for rural residents has given countless people across the vast open regions of Australia the medical attention they require.
RFDS visitor centres are located around the country and offer wonderful insight into the daily operation of this important service. Many of the centres offer a film overview of the RFDS along with written histories of its development. Gift shops are also available for browsing and if visiting at the right time a glimpse of one of the service’s aircraft may also be viewed.
The Alice Springs Tourist Facility has undergone a significant redevelopment and has a wide range of attractions in its new state of the art space. A new 70 seat theatre offers an informative film on the history of the flying doctor service and a museum is located in the original Radio Station House and includes a replica of an early aircraft used by the RFDS. Many old radios are displayed showing what communication was like before the telephone and historic medical equipment can also be seen. The extensive gift shop and café add an additional area of enjoyment and relaxation.