Monday, August 29, 2022

Aviation ministry proposes using helicopter to provide rapid medical care for accident victims

In a move to augment emergency medical services (EMS), the Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed the use of helicopters to deliver speedy medical care to accident victims.

For its pilot project, the ministry has invited expressions of interest (EoI) from air operators who can offer one single-engine or twin-engine helicopter in the role of an air ambulance with EMS capability for a period of six months based out of a helipad at All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) Rishikesh.

This helicopter will be used to provide crucial service for victims of life-threatening trauma within the golden hour, the one-hour window after an accident when access to definitive care can make all the difference between life and death.

Speaking of the project, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “Helicopters in the EMS role can greatly expand the EMS capability by enlarging the medical outreach in an expeditious manner. It is later envisioned to incorporate a larger HEMS network to augment the land-based ambulances to increase the accessibility of trauma care services to a wider population base across the country.”

It further added, “Once successful, this project will be a quantum leap in a healthcare facility in India, and will pave the way to rope-in other private players.”

Prospective air operators have been called to submit their responses to this call from the ministry on or before September 15. They will then be invited to participate in a subsequent conference at the ministry’s headquarters in Delhi wherein they will be asked to make a presentation on their experience, capabilities and related issues.

Respondents to the EoI can be any certified air operator who has at least one helicopter registered in its AOP (Air Operator Permit). The helicopter being offered should be one single-engine helicopter with the capacity to carry one patient on a stretcher, one medical personnel in the side cabin and one pilot with carry-on medical equipment as required.

29/08/22 Poulomi Saha/India Today

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