KUWAIT: These handout photos provided by the Ministry of Health show helicopters of the Kuwaiti ambulance and medical evacuation fleet.

KUWAIT: Having been launched by the Kuwaiti Health Ministry in the first quarter of 2015, the air ambulance and medical evacuation service has rescued more than 4,500 people. Air medical services are mainly intended to use air transportation, airplane or helicopter and to take patients from accident scenes to healthcare facilities, offering them prehospital and emergency care. In this context, the Health Ministry's Medical Emergency Department Monther Al-Jalahma underlined that airborne medical services are now unquestionably essential for rescuing patients, specifically at outlying desert and frontier areas where ambulances can hardly reach.

Speaking on the facility, the official said the paramount significance of the project stems from the fact that it provides critical medical care and transports those wounded in accidents, and even handles natural disasters like fire, where fast-track help matters a lot. The substantial service is always done in collaboration between several state bodies concerned, primarily the health, interior and defense ministries and Kuwait Fire Force (KFF), he said.

He emphasized that his directorate is using all its potential in order to save the lives of citizens and residents, boasting that medial services are carefully done nationwide. Swiftness matters so much in view of airborne rescue services, so it just takes a few minutes for a medically equipped plane to be on the spot, the medical official pointed out.

Air ambulance service rescues over 4,500 people in Kuwait
Air ambulance service rescues over 4,500 people in Kuwait
Air ambulance service rescues over 4,500 people in Kuwait

Meanwhile, Chairman of Al-Sabah Health District's Air Ambulance Center Naser Al-Sarhan said the facility is a landmark in medical services in the country, and is part of the Health Ministry's blueprint purposed to revamp the medical system and back clinics and hospitals. The center boasts some 65 highly qualified, efficient and professional medical workers, two air ambulance planes and a jet aircraft to transport patients in need of overseas medical care, he elaborated.

The service provider's Air Ambulance Base Commander Captain Jassem Boqambar said that they had initially used two helicopters for air ambulance services, together with a jet aircraft for medical evacuation. Boasting that all pilots are retired Kuwaiti aviators of the Air Force, he said they have carried out 4,565 operations since the air ambulance and medical evacuation facility was put in place. The contracted company was established by retired officers of the health, interior and defense ministries, KFF and Kuwait National Guard, he said, expounding that it has 20 pilots, 20 medics, eight maintenance technicians, four helicopters and two jet aircraft.

Under the contract signed between the Health Ministry and the company, once given a tip about an emergency, a helicopter or a jet aircraft must be on the spot within 15 minutes and 24 hours respectively, he pointed out. Immediate response is of paramount significance to rescuing those wounded in accidents, he said, noting that medically equipped planes are always on standby for medical emergency. - KUNA