SAAS MedSTAR is South Australia's unique 24 hour emergency medical retrieval service.

Dedicated to providing the people of South Australia with the highest level of emergency medical patient care, treatment and transport from any location in the state to the most appropriate medical facility.

The SAAS MedSTAR team consists of a core group of highly trained doctors, nurses and paramedics. Retrieval Registrars usually spend a dedicated six or 12 month period with the team and many bring extensive pre-hospital and retrieval experience from overseas. Team members are exposed to additional training which includes Helicopter Underwater Escape Training, Team Resource Management and Orientation to Pre-Hospital and Retrieval Medicine course with ongoing currencies in specific skills and equipment for PHRM.

SAAS MedSTAR coordinates medical care, transport and retrieval of patients and provides:

  • A rapid, high-level clinical response for patients requiring critical care and transport
  • Support to metropolitan and rural health practitioners
  • Consultant led statewide clinical coordination with training opportunities for junior staff
  • High level transport between hospitals for the critically ill and injured
  • A rapid response for pre-hospital trauma care
  • Access to a variety of transport platforms (road, helicopter, turbo prop and jet) for pre-hospital and retrieval work
  • Specially trained teams providing emergency transport and care for children from birth to 16 years of age and women in obstetric emergencies
  • Support in medical and surgical emergencies and response anywhere in the state
  • Medical response to mass casualty incidents and disasters
  • Interstate and international repatriation of patients.

SAAS MedSTAR is unique internationally due to the integration and co-location of adult, paediatric and neonatal retrieval services. SAAS MedSTAR Kids provides a highly trained doctor and nurse team 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond for stabilisation and inter-hospital transport of critically injured and ill children and neonates throughout the SA Health regions.

MedSTAR Training

MedSTAR has an extensive ongoing teaching, training, and audit program to ensure our doctors, nurses and paramedics are performing at the highest level.

Modern training facilities provide multi scenario, segmented education to occur using the latest technology.

MedSTAR collaborates with universities to ensure the very best education and training:

  • James Cook University to deliver the Post Graduate Certificate in Aeromedical Retrieval and Masters in Public Health
  • Flinders University to deliver the Masters of Retrieval Practitioner program.

Training for doctors

Doctors working at MedSTAR receive orientation prior to undertaking any retrieval. Initially a consultant or clinical fellow accompanies new doctors. During a six-month term, a doctor can expect to complete more than 100 adult retrieval missions.

Neonatal / paediatric registrars working a six-month rotation can expect to complete 30 or more retrievals, of which approximately half will be newborn infants and half older infants and children. These clinicians are also supported by a medical consultant and fellows.

All MedSTAR’s training requirements, competency assessments and determinants of operational currency are standardised. Training medical officer positions will be enhanced and we will maintain accreditation with the relevant critical care medical colleges:

  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
  • Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
  • Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (JFICM).

Training for nurses and paramedics

Critical care nurses and Intensive Care paramedics have a clearly defined scope of practice requiring professional extension regardless of clinical background. We use a range of educational tools including clinical audit, research, personal mentoring (including clinical observation) and weekly teaching activities.

Other training courses supported by MedSTAR include:

  • Advanced Driver Training
  • Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS)
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN)
  • Child Protection
  • Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST)
  • Major Incident Medical Management and Support (MIMMS)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)
  • Paediatric Life support (PLS)
  • Radio communications.
  • Retrieval Practitioner Pilot Program

Position availability

Medical positions are recruited in February and August of each year. Opportunities for medical registrars / fellows in retrieval medicine for six or twelve month posts specialising in either adult or neonatal/paediatric retrieval.

All nursing and paramedic vacancies are advertised as positions become available or based on organisational need.

How to apply

All MedSTAR vacancies are advertised on the following websites.

To enquire about future job opportunities with MedSTAR, please contact us at HealthMedSTAR@sa.gov.au

SA Health Careers IWorkForSA

Why join SAAS MedSTAR?

“Every day I come to work my clinical skills are needed somewhere different – let’s face it, I could be going anywhere in the state!

Experience in pre-hospital and retrieval medicine gives you something you just can’t get in conventional hospital practice. It poses a truly unique challenge to the way you approach the sick and injured patient, whilst allowing you to develop as a practitioner too.

The diversity is remarkable. One day you’re stabilising critically injured patients after an outback vehicle crash then managing them at 6,000 feet for the hour flight to the nearest trauma centre. The next, you’ll be part of a major training exercise learning how to engage the resources of the fire, police and ambulance services to guarantee the best clinical management of the unstable patient in a remote location.”

Dr Dan Ellis, Medical Retrieval Consultant, MedSTAR