June 29, 2020

FiFo Healthcare Impacts Miners

FIFO and DIDO have short-term benefits for rural Australians seeking healthcare services in terms of increasing equity and accessibility to services and reducing the need to travel long distances for health care.

FiFo Healthcare Impacts Miners

Rural Australians experience poorer health and poorer access to health care services than their urban counterparts, and there is a chronic shortage of health professionals in rural and remote Australia. Strategies designed to reduce this rural-urban divide include fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in drive-out (DIDO) services. The aim of this article is to examine the opportunities and challenges involved in these forms of service delivery. This article reviews recent literature relating to FIFO and DIDO healthcare services and discusses their benefits and potential disadvantages for rural Australia, and for health practitioners.

Issues: FIFO and DIDO have short-term benefits for rural Australians seeking healthcare services in terms of increasing equity and accessibility to services and reducing the need to travel long distances for health care. However, significant disadvantages need to be considered in the longer term. There is a potential for burnout among health professionals who travel long distances and work long hours, often without adequate peer support or supervision, in order to deliver these services. A further disadvantage, particularly in the use of visiting medical practitioners to provide generalist services, is the lack of development of a sufficiently well-resourced local primary healthcare system in small rural communities.

Lessons learned: Given the potential negative consequences for both health professionals and rural Australians, the authors caution against the increasing use of FIFO and DIDO services, without the concurrent development of well-resourced, funded and staffed primary healthcare services in rural and remote communities.

Since 11.59pm Saturday 4 April 2020, only certain employees who live interstate and work in Queensland have been allowed to enter Queensland. FIFO workers for construction, commercial fishing, manufacturing, resources sector, energy or agribusiness companies are allowed to enter Queensland under certain conditions.

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If you are a FIFO worker travelling to your worksite or work camp, you will need to provide the following information when you arrive in Queensland:

  • the name of your employer
  • evidence that you are a FIFO worker
  • evidence that you are entering Queensland to go directly to work, and
  • evidence of the location of the worksite or work camp.

Please speak to your employer about how you can provide this information.

If you are a FIFO worker for a resources sector company or service provider, you can only enter Queensland if you also provide evidence that you are a critical resources sector employee. Critical resources sector employees are those who are essential to the ongoing operation of a resource activity or the resource supply chain. There are template applications on the health direction website that your employer must complete, submit and be approved before you enter Queensland.

Restrictions about returning from overseas travel continue to apply.

Keywords: Australia/Pacific; Health Needs Assessment; Primary Health Care.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly.

The common symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • fatigue (tiredness), and
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

Most people infected with COVID-19 will have a mild to moderate illness and will recover without special medical treatment. Some people, such as those with underlying medical problems or disease and older people, are more likely to suffer from more serious symptoms of the diseases. See also our content on vulnerable workers.

If you are unwell and think you might have COVID-19, you can check your symptoms using Healthdirect’s COVID-19 symptom checker or call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.

How is COVID-19 spread?

  • The most likely way you’ll catch the virus is by breathing in micro-droplets a person close to you has released by sneezing, coughing –or just breathing out
  • You can, however, also catch it via the hand-to-face pathway: touching a surface where live virus material is present, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes
  • Spread of COVID-19 is highest from people with symptoms
  • Spread of COVID-19 before symptoms appear is less common

More information

For more information about COVID-19 please see the resources available from the Australian Government Department of Health.

You can also call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080 if you have questions about COVID-19. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you require translating or interpreting services, please call 131 450.

Legislation, standards and guidelines

As a mining or quarry operator in Queensland, you must comply with mine safety and health legislation, including:

Other laws may impact on safety and health for specific activities, including the Explosives Act 1999 and the Radiation Safety Act 1999.

This guide explains provides an overview of the legislation, standards and guidelines that relate to health and safety requirements for mining and quarrying operations in Queensland. It also provides an overview of bodies and individuals, such as the Mines Inspectorate, Board of Examiners and Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health, who work to ensure compliance of mining health and safety.

Mining Telehealth Resources