BEST IELTS General Reading Test 327

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 327


IELTS General Reading Test



Read the following passage and answer Questions 28 – 40.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service Of Australia

A. The Interior of Australia is a sparsely populated and extreme environment and the delivery of basic services has always been a problem. One of the most important of these services is medical care. Before the inception of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), serious illness or accidents in the Inland often meant death. The RFDS was the first comprehensive aerial organization in the world and to this day remains unique for the range of emergency services that it provides.

B. The story of the Flying Doctor Service is forever linked with its founder, the Very Reverend John Flynn. It is a story of achievement that gave courage to the pioneers of the outback. In 1911 the Reverend John Flynn took up his appointment at Beltana Mission in the north of South Australia. He began his missionary work at a time when only two doctors served an area of some 300 000 sq kms in the Northern Territory.

IELTS General Reading Test

In 1903 the first powered flight had taken place and by 1918 the aeroplane was beginning to improve itself as a means of transport. Radio, then very much in its infancy, was also displaying its remarkable capability to link people thousands of miles apart. Flynn saw the potential in these developments. The Service began in 1928 but it was not until 1942 that it was actually named the Flying Doctor Service and the Royal prefix was added in 1955.

C. In 1928 the dream of a flying doctor was at last a reality but Flynn and his supporters still faced many problems in the months and years to come. The first year’s service was regarded as experimental, but the experiment succeeded and almost miraculously the service survived the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s. By 1932 the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) had a network of ten little hospitals across the coverage area. A succession of doctors and pilots followed and operations continued to expand over the next few years.

IELTS General Reading Test

D. The Service suffered severe financial difficulties in its early years. Flynn and his associates had to launch public appeals for donations. While some government financial aid was made available on occasions in the early days, regular government subsidies only became an established practice later on. Even today the Service continues to rely chiefly on money from trusts, donations and public appeals for its annual budget and raising money remains an integral part of the working day for the Service and its volunteers.

E. In 1922 Flynn began a campaign for funding to buy some aircraft for the AIM. The first flight, on 17th May 1928, was made using a De Havilland model DH50 aircraft. This plane, named “Victory”, went on to fly 110 000 miles in the service of the Flying Doctor until 1934 when it was replaced with a DH83 Fox Moth. In 1928 flying was still in its early days. Pilots had no navigational aids, no radio and only a compass and inadequate maps, if any. They navigated by landmarks such as fences, rivers, dirt roads of just wheel tracks and telegraph lines. They also flew in an open cockpit, fully exposed to the weather.

IELTS General Reading Test

Flights were normally made during daylight hours although night flights were attempted in cases of extreme urgency. Fuel supplies were also carried on flights until fuel dumps were established at certain strategic locations. Nowadays twin engine craft, speed, pressurization, the ability to fly higher and further with more space for crew and medical personnel have all improved patient care and safety problems.

There are hardly any places now that the RFDS cannot reach though safe landing at the remote areas is another issue altogether. Many outstations now have some sort of airstrip lighting but even now car headlights are sometimes used. Landings are therefore still often made in hazardous circumstances on remote fields or roads and it is pilots who continue to be responsible for determining if the flight can be safely undertaken.

IELTS General Reading Test

F. In the early 1900s basic telephone and telegraphic links existed only near larger towns. Radio communication was practically unknown and neighbours could be hundreds of miles away. What was needed was a simple, portable, cheap, and reliable two-way radio, with its own power source and with a range of 500 kms.

In 1928 Alf Traeger, an Adelaide engineer, invented the Pedal Radio and over the next 10 years these were distributed around the stations and the operators were trained in Morse Code. Over the years radio developed with new technology and of course now telephones have taken its place. Whereas a few years ago, all calls for medical assistance were received by radio, today this represents only about 2% of all such calls.

G. Over the years, the RFDS has developed to take along medical specialists, dentists and various health related professionals. Sister Myra Blanche was the first nurse employed by the RFDS in 1945 undertaking home nursing, immunizations, advising on prevention of illnesses and, on occasion, filling in for the doctor. However, flight nurses as we know them were not used by the Service on a regular basis until the 1960s. Today, based on the judgement of the doctor authorizing the flight, up nurse and pilot on board.

IELTS General Reading Test

Questions 29 – 34

The reading passage on the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia has 7 paragraphs A – G.

From the list of headings below choose the most suitable headings for paragraphs B – G.

Write the appropriate number (i – xi) in boxes 29 – 34 on your answer sheet.

NB There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use them all.

i. RFDS Hospitals

ii. Funding

iii. Communication Issues

iv. Navigation Issues

v. The Birth of an Idea

vi. Aviation

vii. Why the RFDS was Founded

viii. The First Pilot

ix. The Growth of the Service

x. Doctors’ Assistants

xi. Refueling Problems

IELTS General Reading Test

29. Paragraph B

30. Paragraph C

31. Paragraph D

32. Paragraph E

33. Paragraph F

34. Paragraph G

IELTS General Reading Test

Questions 35 – 40

Read the article about the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia again and look at the statements below.

In boxes 35 – 40 on your answer sheet write:

TRUE                         if the statement is true

FALSE                       if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN            if the information is not given in the passage

35. Test flights before 1928 proved that John Flynn’s ideas were possible.

36. The RFDS today gets most of its operational money from charities.

37. In the early years RFDS fliers had only compasses to help them find their way.

38. Today some landing areas still do not have proper lighting.

39. Telephones have now completely replaced radios for reporting emergencies to the RFDS.

40. Quite a few RFDS flights today don’t even have a doctor on board.

IELTS General Reading Test


IELTS General Reading Test

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 327


29. V

30. IX

31. II

32. IV

33. III

34. X


36. TRUE


38. TRUE



IELTS General Reading Test

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