Ready for takeoff? DOH launches first 24/7 air ambulance in Palawan

Cherry Camacho, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2017 09:02 PM

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — The Department of Health's local regional office has formally launched its air-ambulance service here.

The initiative is a partnership between DOH-Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) and the Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services, a volunteer-driven organization.

A Cessna 206, a 6-seater helicopter, and Robinson R44, a 4-seater chopper, will be used to transport patients.

The vehicles are equipped with first-aid medical equipment and manned by a paramedic who can provide immediate care.

The air ambulance will transport patients from the scene of an emergency to the nearest healthcare facility.

It will accommodate non-ambulatory and ambulatory patients.

Dr. Eduardo Janairo, regional director of DOH-Mimaropa, said islands in the region will benefit most from the new service.

Some of these areas are remotely located and cannot be reached immediately by health workers and medical personnel, and the most effective and quickest response to save lives is to move people by air.

By using air ambulances, patients from Palawan will be transported to DOH tertiary hospitals in Metro Manila, a trip that will take approximately 1 hour.

The air ambulance will cater to indigent patients and indigenous communities.

There will also be off-site landing zones in every area in Palawan designated for emergency medical evacuation.

A 24/7 emergency unit will be established in DOH Palawan.