Supporting NZ Flying Doctors Trust

About the NZFD service

When time is of the essence and distance is an issue, the New Zealand Flying Doctor Service is the only option for many patients.

This service provides critical-care patient transfer services between hospitals across New Zealand.

As a flying intensive care unit with highly trained medical staff and specialist equipment, patients receive a seamless level of care from bed to bed- they are in the safest of hands.

The service operates 24/7 transferring critical care burn victims, spinal injury patients, neonatal transfers, trauma victims, surgery transfers, organ delivery, blood or equipment supplies.


The NZFD service started with 100 missions per year and quickly grew to 300 and now we do 500 missions ex Nelson and we are averaging 60 per month from Christchurch which equates to 800 per year. The service does an average of 1200 missions per year.

Current NZFDS pilots – Christchurch 10, Nelson 4.

Why do we need support now?

Mission numbers have increased significantly in recent years resulting in a deficit between the government funding available (DHBs) and the demand for the service.

A new purpose built patient oriented Emergency Air Facility has also increased costs and new technologies and training are available to enhance patient outcomes.


Neurosurgical patient transfer – Greymouth Hospital

Nephrology transfer – Chatham Islands to Christchurch Hospital

Medical transfer – Auckland Hospital to Christchurch Hospital

Obstetric transfer – Christchurch Hospital to Middlemore Hospital

Oncology transfer – Christchurch Hospital to Palmerston North

Medical transfer – Blenheim Hospital to Burwood Spinal Unit


Becka’s Story

Becka was 27 weeks pregnant when she started to feel unwell; at Greymouth Hospital she was diagnosed with swine flu. Becka was put in an induced coma prior to taking her to Christchurch Hospital, where she spent the next week.

“The NZFD Service made all of the difference to our family. Becka wouldn’t be alive if she had stayed in Greymouth. The intensive care specialist on the flight saved her life. The inter-hospital transfer service was seamless – thank you so much for saving my Becka, and our baby.” Mark – Becka’s partner

“Like Becka, anyone can need this service; each day we transfer patients of all ages. We know it can be a terrifying and lonely prospect flying across New Zealand when critically ill – but be reassured we are trained to care for you and will look after you as we would our own family.” Dr Neil Davidson – Intensive Care Specialist