17/06/2015

Call For Air Ambulance Service In NI

The leader of the TUV has met with the Health Minister and a consultant in anaesthetics and ICU to discuss the lack of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in Northern Ireland.

TUV Leader Jim Allister said it has been a matter of concern within the medical profession for years.

Mr Allister said: "Northern Ireland has lagged behind Scotland and Wales which have developed a fully funded, consultant led, 24 hour integrated HEMS.
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"In practice this means that if someone in Northern Ireland is seriously injured they are at the mercy of where their injury occurs with there being no direct access to our only hospital with neurosurgical, spinal, pelvic, interventional radiology, cardiac and thoracic services (the Royal) if someone in injured outside the Belfast catchment area.

"Currently, if someone is injured and a helicopter is required, we have to see what is available. This may be a PSNI helicopter or a Coastguard helicopter from the Republic of Ireland, Wales or Scotland.

"Dr Hinds and I had a constructive meeting with the Health Minister and I believe that a decision on the matter will be made in the not too distant future."

(CD/JP)

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