Doctors soar to milestone

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser
Royal Flying Doctor Service chief executive Grahame Marshall at the Broome facility, which is celebrating its first anniversary.
Camera IconRoyal Flying Doctor Service chief executive Grahame Marshall at the Broome facility, which is celebrating its first anniversary. Credit: Julia Rau Photography

The Royal Flying Doctor Service marked its first anniversary in Broome last week by retrieving its 1000th patient.

Of the patients retrieved or evacuated by the Broome facility in the past 12 months, the majority had injuries relating to workplace or motor vehicle accidents, or from poisoning, including snake bites or spider bites.

When it opened on May 11 last year, the Broome facility became the first new RFDS aero-medical facility in WA for 50 years.

RFDS chief executive Grahame Marshall said Broome was now its busiest patient transport hub in the north of the State.

“Just a year on from its official opening, the Broome facility has certainly demonstrated its value, allowing us to get to patients more quickly, and operate more efficiently with reduced flight times, ultimately delivering better outcomes for people living, working or travelling in the region,” Mr Marshall said.

This month also marks the first time Broome has been included in the program of fundraising events for the Gibb Challenge, a 660km team cycling relay that has raised more than $1 million for the RFDS.

Gibb Challenge organisers Simon and Anna Rimmer wanted to again show their support for the RFDS, which had come to Anna’s rescue during the mountain biking event four years ago.

Mr Rimmer said his wife had been diagnosed with appendicitis at Ellenbrae Station on day four of the 2013 bike ride from Derby to El Questro.

“She had to be flown to Royal Darwin Hospital as at that time there were no surgical facilities available at either Broome or Kununurra,” Mr Rimmer said.

To celebrate Broome’s support of the Gibb Challenge, Mr Rimmer is hosting the Cable Beach Sun-downer at Cable Beach Amphitheatre tomorrow, from 3pm.

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