Expanding CareFlight fleet for Top End and beyond

Department of Health

Delivering on the Albanese Government’s election commitment, CareFlight has received $19.95 million to increase lifesaving aeromedical services in the Top End with a second rescue helicopter and aeromedical jet.

The funding will expand CareFlight’s fleet in the Northern Territory and help rapidly respond to crisis events and provide lifesaving medical care in Northern Australia.

The additional helicopter will increase CareFlight’s Top End emergency rescue coverage in remote and difficult terrain and allow it to operate all year round.

CareFlight employs specialist doctors, nurses and midwives who use air ambulances to reach critically ill and injured patients and convey them to a hospital.

Without an additional helicopter, maintenance requirements mean the lifesaving rescue service would not always be available.

The aeromedical Gulfstream G150 jet will allow CareFlight to rapidly respond to medical emergencies and provide support to other crisis events across the region and the country.

This will also support the rapid deployment of Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) through the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, based in Darwin and available year-round.

Search and rescues at sea, road trauma and newborn rescues are just some of the other emergencies CareFlight responds to.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“The Albanese Government went to the election promising CareFlight funds to expand their fleet and we have delivered.

“The additional plane will ensure the Northern Territory has 100 per cent rescue and medivac coverage.

“I know my Northern Territory colleagues campaigned so hard to make sure this second helicopter became a reality for their community and it’s testament to their work that it is already servicing the Top End.”

Quotes attributable to Senator Malarndirri McCarthy:

“CareFlight saves lives and this support from the Australian Government will ensure there is more lifesaving care available in some of the most remote parts of the country.

“Every Australian deserves access to emergency and critical care and they need to be assured that help will come when they need it.

“The additions to CareFlight’s fleet in the Top End will make a real difference in remote communities, and beyond with lifesaving medical care available throughout the year.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Solomon Luke Gosling OAM MP:

“We said a Federal Labor Government would deliver a second helicopter for CareFlight and we have delivered.

“A little over a year into our Government, here we are – a second helicopter in the hangar. It’s something we made sure we delivered because the work CareFlight does couldn’t be more important. Whether it is the patient care provided by CareFlight to remote communities and regional hospitals or safely transporting patients to interstate hospitals.

“The enhanced ability to support the NCCTRC response to local and regional emergencies is a welcome development and underpins the importance of Darwin as an aeromedical hub and centre of excellence.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Lingiari Marion Scrymgour MP:

“In the NT most people who have a health emergency can be saved, but distance and time are often their biggest enemy. The other factors are terrain and whether there is a queue for services.

“The combination of a second rescue helicopter and an aeromedical jet address all these issues and will deliver emergency medical services faster in the NT.”

/Media Release. View in full here.