SEOUL, KOREA — Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that it would carry out a contest for the “program of introduction of emergency healthcare helicopters (Doctor Helicopters)” for speedy transfer of emergency patients from islands and mountainous regions.
Doctor Helicopters were adopted in two local regions (Incheon and Jeollanam-do) in 2011 and will be introduced to two more local governmental areas in 2012. The difference between 2011 and 2012 is that this time not only islands but mountainous areas will benefit from this service.
The contest will be held separately for local governmental bodies and helicopter businesses. The contest for local governmental bodies will be hosted by Ministry of Health and Welfare itself but the contest for helicopter service providers will be consigned to National Medical Center for its execution.
Local governmental bodies are asked to select one medical institution that can accommodate helicopters within their districts according to the instructions of Ministry of Health and Welfare for the contest and evaluation and apply for the contest after preparing a program plan.
Landing and taking-off of helicopters shall be possible at the concerned medical institution and it shall have its own helicopter landing strip in accordance with the Aviation Act. It also shall own specialized personnel for operation of Doctor Helicopters (emergency physicians and emergency rescuers, etc.)
In 2011, helicopters were deployed in Incheon (Gachon University Gil Hospital) and Jeollanam-do (Mokpo Hankook Hospital). National Medical Center makes a selection among businesses that have a license for small air transport business according to a separate contest procedure after approval from Ministry of Health and Welfare. Korean Air was selected as a helicopter service provider in Incheon and Jeollanam-do areas in 2011.
Ministry of Health and Welfare said that it will select a vulnerable area that will have the greatest effect of adoption of Doctor Helicopters by reflecting residential populations, landscapes, transportation, and expected improvement after introduction of helicopters into the evaluation for the contest.