Health Minister David Clark said he is excited to announce the addition of two new air ambulances to what is “fast-becoming a world-class aeromedical service for New Zealand”.
Clark adds: “Air ambulances are a critical life-saving service and one that requires sustained investment. That’s why we invested an extra $82.9 million over four years in these services in our first budget”.
Intended to span the entire South Island as well as Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands and the Auckland Islands, these “state-of-the-art” $15m air ambulances are set to perform pre-hospital retrieval and inter-hospital transfer duties for medical and injury services.
Clark said, “These new Airbus H145 air ambulances are part of the Government’s modernisation programme to make our country’s air ambulance services safer, better and focused on people’s needs”.
The two new air ambulances started service on Wednesday, with one based in Christchurch and the other in Dunedin.
Clark said, “These air ambulances will provide rapid access to specialised health services, which is especially valuable for people in rural and remote communities. They help to ensure fair access to health services by all New Zealanders, no matter where they live and no matter who they are.”