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Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service



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PRESS STATEMENT BY THE COMMONWEALTH MINISTER FOR HEALTH

DR. A.J. FORBES

NORTHERN TERRITORY AERIAL MEDICAL SERVICE

Captain John Slade, M.B.E., A.F.C., chief pilot of the Northern

Territory Aerial Medical Service since 19^6, has retired- from flying

duties to become operations superintendent of the service. ,

Captain Slade, who undertook innumerable emergency flights, ■ ©

often under hazardous conditions, has been instrumental in saving the

lives of hundreds of Northern Territory residents.

Announcing his new appointment to-day, the Minister for Health,

Dr. Forbes, said Captain Slade, who began the modern-day development of

the Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service when it was recommenced by

the Department of Health at the end of World War II, would help plan.a

reorganisation of the service.- At present the service flies five de Havilland

Dove planes and uses commercial and charter flights to supplement its

resources. Dr. Forbes said it was intended to re-equip the fleet as the

five machines at present in use neared the end of their useful lives.

The Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service carries doctors,

nurses, dentists and other health personnel on regular visits to outback

stations and settlements over thousands of miles to give medical and dental

treatment. It also conducts' immunisation sessions, X-ray screening, baby

clinics, health education and similar activities as part of a Territory-wide

preventive medicine programme. The service answers emergency radio calls

for on-the-spot medical assistance outback and transports patients, when

necessary, to the Department's hospitals at Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek

and Alice Springs. Doctors attached to the service give advice to station

and settlement nursing sisters and others twice daily by regular radio

sessions from Darwin and Alice Springs, and on an emergency basis for

2b hours a day.' '

Canberra, July 2, 1970. Departmental No. 23.