Funds will keep FOG flying in slightly altered form
The Queensland Government has continued funding a vital service for women in rural and remote regions.
Queensland’s flying obstetrician and gynaecologist service sees specialists travelling to the most remote hospitals and outback medical facilities to bring vital services to many thousands of rural residents.
Flying specialists with the service known as ‘FOG’ deal with emergencies, elective surgery and routine consultations, providing the highest standard of care without the need for days of travel for patients.
The service was in danger of closing, with the contributory health authorities struggling to find long-term staff.
A recent announcement from Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg appears to have saved the service, with the government deciding to restructure and expand it.
Dr Maurice Lichter, one of three specialists with the flying service, has told the ABC that it is excellent news.
“It was very uncertain, it really didn't have any form of defined future,” Dr Lichter said.
“It was flying around 400 hours a year and we need to be able to grow that service to provide certainty.”
Now, Dr Lighter and others can get back to their important work across the massive region they cover.
“I love the travel and I love flying to places,” he said.
“I love being able to get patients who appreciate the care that they're given.
“It's just like having a private practice anywhere else.”