Sun, Aug 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Kinmen to get medivac helicopter

ON A SLIDING SCALE:The county government is to pay the maintenance costs at a reduced rate because of a lack of facilities in the area and its remote location

By Wu Cheng-ting and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A medical-transport helicopter is pictured in Kinmen County on Friday.

Photo: Wu Cheng-ting, Taipei Times

The central government and Kinmen County have agreed that a medical transport helicopter should be permanently stationed in the island county, with the county to pay a portion of the costs, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yang Cheng-wu (楊鎮浯) said on Friday.

Yang, KMT Legislator Chen Hsueh-sheng (陳雪生) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yang Yao (楊曜) worked for the deal, Yang Cheng-wu said.

Yang Cheng-wu said he considered it his foremost goal to persuade the Ministry of Health and Welfare to station a medivac helicopter in Kinmen, adding that he was glad to see his mission accomplished last month at the conclusion of the bidding process.

The medivac helicopter would cut the transport time to major hospitals by at least half, which could make the difference between life and death, Yang Cheng-wu said.

The Kinmen County Government was asked to pay 70 percent of the helicopter fees, Yang Cheng-wu said, adding that legislators convinced the ministry to lower the fees by 20 percent.

The ministry agreed to the rate because of Kinmen’s location and lack of medical resources, Yang Cheng-wu said.

The rate the Kinmen government is to pay for the helicopter’s maintenance is to decline in accordance with the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures Act (財政收支劃分法), Yang Cheng-wu said

The county can expect its first medivac by the middle of next year, he said.

Yang Cheng-wu called for closer cooperation between the health ministry and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications when building the helipad and examining the helicopter.

Safety is of the utmost concern, Yang Cheng-wu said, adding that the central government should make a schedule to introduce the service available to local residents.

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