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

SAAS MedSTAR provides care to critically ill or injured patients in South Australia 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 6 or 12 month term with the team and bring extensive skills and expertise that can be translated to the pre-hospital and retrieval environment. Team members are provided with additional training which includes the comprehensive Induction and Orientation to Pre-Hospital and Retrieval Medicine program with ongoing currencies in specific skills and equipment for Pre-hospital and retrieval medicine (PHRM).

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

  • A rapid, high-level clinical response for patients requiring critical care advice and transport
  • Support to rural health clinicians and those in the metropolitan area as required
  • Consultant led statewide central clinical coordination with training opportunities for retrieval fellows
  • Interfacility transfer of critically ill and injured patients between the metropolitan specialist hospitals as required
  • A rapid response capability for pre-hospital trauma care
  • Access to a variety of transport platforms (road, helicopter, fixed wing, and jet) for pre-hospital and retrieval missions
  • SAAS MedSTAR Kids teams providing emergency transport and care for children from birth to 16 years of age
  • Medical response to mass casualty incidents and disasters
  • Interstate transfer of patients, including but not limited to organ transplant recipients and pediatric cardiac surgical repair

SAAS MedSTAR is internationally unique due to the integration and co-location of adult, paediatric and neonatal retrieval services, and clinical coordination under a single clinical governance framework.

MedSTAR Training

SAAS MedSTAR has a comprehensive multidisciplinary ongoing teaching, training, and audit program to ensure our doctors, nurses and paramedics are performing at the highest level, and providing contemporary, evidence-based practice.  Modern training facilities include high fidelity simulation rooms, vehicle extrication, helicopter, and ambulance simulation trainers.  Video conference infrastructure allows for teaching and training opportunities within the facility and in collaboration with external providers locally, nationally, and internationally.

SAAS MedSTAR has ongoing relationships with several key universities and medical specialty colleges to collaborate and contribute to teaching and training opportunities for post graduate qualifications in PHRM and recognized medical specialty training programs.

Training and opportunities for doctors

Staff working at SAAS MedSTAR receive orientation and induction training prior to undertaking any retrieval with buddy/mentor shifts for all staff prior to sign off and independent practice.  During a six-month term, a general service retrieval registrar can expect to complete approx. 80 retrieval missions.

Neonatal / Paediatric registrars working a six-month rotation can expect to complete 30 or more retrievals, with a varied mix of neonates, older infants, children, and adolescents.   All clinicians are supported by a medical retrieval consultant, and specialist neonatal consultants at all times.

All SAAS MedSTAR’s training requirements, competency assessments and determinants of operational currency are standardized. MedSTAR has ongoing accreditation with specialist medical colleges.

  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
  • Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
  • Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP)

Training and opportunities for nurses and paramedics

The Nursing Incentive and Rotation Program (NIRP) offers suitably qualified and experienced critical-care nurses the opportunity to work in prehospital and retrieval nursing, with a defined professional development pathway, Scope of Clinical Practice and Credential. The program incorporates a scalable and targeted observer experience, and rotational secondments to any of the three specialist nursing streams – adult prehospital, neonates/paediatrics and clinical coordination.

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.

To provide exposure and opportunity for those interested in prehospital and retrieval medicine, SAAS MedSTAR offers observer placements to nurses, paramedics, medical students and members of national and international services. Experiences are dependent on clinical level and seniority, and are offered across the 3 clinical specialties

Position availability

Medical positions are recruited annually for the February and August rotations of each year. Opportunities for medical registrars/fellows in retrieval medicine are for 6 or 12 month posts specializing in either adult or neonatal/paediatric retrieval.

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

SAAS MedSTAR Retrieval Registrars

To enquire about future job opportunities with MedSTAR, please contact us at

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