THE Royal Flying Doctor Service has been named the most reputable charity in Australia for the fifth straight year in a survey.
Research consultants AMR perform an annual Charity Reputation Index that surveys a cross-section of the Australian public to gauge the reputation of Australia's 40 largest charities across seven categories: Service, Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership and Cost Management.
The RFDS ranked first in six out of seven categories.
"We are delighted to be honoured for the fifth straight year and ranked above many other well known and regarded charities," RFDS' South Eastern Section chief executive officer Greg Sam said.
It caps what has been a big year for the RFDS.
A few months ago a collaborative partnership between the NSW Ambulance service, the RFDS SE, Pathology West - Dubbo and Western NSW Local Health District now enables blood and blood products to be stored at the RFDS Dubbo Base and on-board aircraft.
This allows flight nurses and retrieval doctors to perform blood transfusions on patients suffering persistent life-threatening bleeding, whilst in the air.
During 2015 the RFDS SE unveiled a bold four-year strategic plan to narrow the gap in health and wellness between those living in remote and rural areas and those in the cities.
The first phase of that ambitious strategy saw the launch earlier this month of a new Patient Transfer road service, which enables the RFDS SE to control all the "links" in its patient transfer "chain" and employ a common delivery system.
Patients from western NSW now receive greater continuity of care between their homes and hospital and a more comfortable and certain transfer service.
The fleet of six vehicles will enable local ambulance services to preserve their priority status and free up much-needed beds in regional and metropolitan hospitals.
Community funding contributed some $250,000 to the purchase and fit-out of vehicles.
During 2016 the South Eastern Section will make further announcements regarding new and enhanced services.
"The RFDS does rely on fundraising, above and beyond the government grants and contacts we receive to deliver and expand our services. Last year 24per cent of our funding came from donations and bequests," Mr Sam said.
"The public can be assured that the Flying Doctor provides an excellent return on every fundraising dollar it receives and it's gratifying to know that we have such strong support for our mission to deliver improved health outcomes to remote, rural and regional communities."