Norway – with its curvy roads that are prone to seasonal closures and huge distances between cities – relies on medical air services to ferry patients between hospitals and during emergency situations. It’s not wrong to say that the country is critically dependent on medical air services. Norway currently has nine air ambulances that are strategically situated throughout the country. However, tension has been brewing among crew members ever since the management of national medical air services shifted hands recently.
The Source of Chaos in Medical Air Services of the Country
The country’s air ambulances were previously managed by Lufttransport. However, it lost its contract to the British company Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance. The contract was lost as Babcock had quoted 11 percent less when compared to Lufttransport’s bid. The first hints of trouble surfaced when it came to light that there was no demand by the country’s government to hire the existing pilots. This meant that the existing pilots would have to apply again for the jobs that they were currently holding. Plus, Babcock planned to host a smaller crew. Also, the company declared that it would pay 25% less than what Lufttransport was previously paying.
The New Terms did Not Go Well with the Existing Teams
As soon as the news surfaced, pilots and technicians alike started calling in sick and searching for new jobs, owing to the insecurity of their current jobs. This has affected the medical air services of the country hugely. The health ministry of Norway too has, for the most part, not intervened, and has left it to Babcock and the employee union to sort the matter out.
A Solution Seems to be in Sight
It was revealed, recently, that a marathon meeting was held between Babcock and the existing employees. The medical air services team seems to have taken a pay cut, but has been assured that employees would still be working from the same bases that they had been all this while. It was also revealed that some technicians who were not happy with the agreement have threatened to quit.