CRITICAL patients and emergency cases can now be transported by air to the nearest health facility through the air ambulance program which was formally launched Thursday by the Department of Health headquarters in the Mimaropa region.
Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo said two aircraft—a Cessna 206 airplane and a Robinson R44 Helicopter—will be provided by the Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services Inc. to serve as air ambulances.
PAMAS is a faith-based, volunteer-driven organization that spreads the Gospel to the Philippines through the use of an aviation and medical ministry. PAMAS is a non-stock, non-profit corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The aircraft will be equipped with first aid medical equipment and manned by a paramedic to provide immediate care.
“It can accommodate non-ambulatory and ambulatory patients. Transport of patients from Mimaropa provinces will be transported to DOH tertiary hospitals in Metro Manila which will take approximately 1 ½ hour or less. The air ambulance service will cater to indigent patients and indigenous communities,” Janairo said.
There will be landing zones in every province designated for emergency medical evacuation for identified hospitals. Ground ambulance transfer to and from the LZ from the originating hospital to the destination tertiary hospitals will be duly coordinated as well.
Janairo also said a 24/7 emergency unit will be established in every DOH provincial office. For Palawan, emergency numbers that can be contacted are (0998) 5492585 for Smart and (0917) 533-1651 for Globe.
“Time is vital in saving a life. Even a fraction of a second delay may cost a patient’s life. And this is one of the advantage of an air transport because it includes providing a higher level of care from the scene of trauma to community hospitals,” Janairo emphasized.
“Most of the places in Mimaropa are not accessible to regular ambulance services due of its geographically situated island provinces,” said Janairo during the launching ceremony at the Puerto Princesa City Airport in Palawan.