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[WATCH] Gozo hospital concessionaire launches air ambulance service

Air ambulance to be permanently based in Gozo and will be free of charge for Maltese patients

6 August 2016, 12:53pm
Gozo hospital concessionaire launches air ambulance service (Photo: Chris Mangion)
Gozo hospital concessionaire launches air ambulance service (Photo: Chris Mangion)

Video is unavailable at this time.

Report by Andrea Rossitto

Vitals Global Healthcare, who has taken over the management at the Gozo General Hospital, launched a new air ambulance service which will be permanently based in Gozo.

Assisting the landing of the air ambulance at Xewkija’s helipad, Vitals Group Healthcare director Ram Tumuluri and Health Minister Chris Fearne reassured that the service will be free of charge for Maltese patients.

Present for the launch was also Gozo Minister Anton Refalo.

“The introduction of the air ambulance is a huge first step in our partnership with the government and shows that we are really following through on what we promised at the outset,” Tumuluri said, adding that the public-private partnership would improve health care services offered in Malta and Gozo, their delivery and accessibility.

The new service, Fearne said, will complement the new growth plans in connection with the Gozo General Hospital where the medical school of Barts will be incepted in the near future.

Emergency transfer to Mater Dei hospital from Gozo is currently carried out by the Armed Forces of Malta’s helicopter.

“Since we seek to improve the quality of patients by providing better facilities in the sector, we wanted to cut-down the helicopter’s trip time-line so that critical patients are assisted faster, in a trip that lasts less than 15 minutes,” Tumuluri said.

Although the air ambulance is already on the sister island, the service will commence in September due to the training period required.