The Maltese island of Gozo recently announced the launch of its new air ambulance service that will be transporting patients from the island to St. Luke’s Hospital. This announcement was received with mixed reactions with the Health Ministry defending its intention to launch the service. In a blog post by Claudette Buttgieg, health shadow minister, this announcement seemed to be a gimmick as the helicopter hasn’t yet been converted to do the job. She also said that the government hasn’t yet come up with plans to construct a proper helipad.
Health Ministry Defends itself
In her blog post, Buttgieg had said that the move was seen as a gimmick by experts working in the medical field especially those in the Accident and Emergency field. However, the Health Ministry defends its actions saying that the Opposition Leader used the same term to criticize the reduction in energy tariffs. According to the Ministry, the Opposition has made it clear that they do not prioritize on the wellbeing of Gozitans.
The Health Ministry further commented that the Opposition doesn’t yet understand how the new air ambulance service would prove to be an advantage for citizens of Gozo. Currently, the existing service is being operated under the Armed Forces of Malta and has to fly from Luqa, This has been known to increase traveling time, proving to be a disadvantage for those requiring emergency medical services.
Gozo-Based Air Ambulance Service Expected to be an Advantage
In its statements, the Ministry said that a service based in Gozo is expected to drastically reduce the time taken for transporting patients to hospitals in Malta. It will be especially beneficial in cases where the patient is suffering from a condition such as stroke or a heart attack as speedy medical attention can make the difference between life and death.