23 May 2022

Minister for Health Simon Harris announces new aeromedical service for Munster

Minister for Health Simon Harris announces new aeromedical service for Munster

Minister for Health Simon Harris announces new aeromedical service for Munster

Minister for Health, Simon Harris has announced that a new aeromedical service will commence operations in Munster today (Tuesday).   

This very valuable service will help ensure that seriously ill or injured people in remote areas have more timely access to appropriate high-quality clinical care.   

This service is part of the long-term whole system approach to healthcare which seeks to ensure that the right care is delivered by the right person, in the right place, at the right time, a fundamental objective of Sláintecare. 

Welcoming the news, Minister Harris said: “The Programme for a Partnership Government committed to explore the feasibility of the expansion of air ambulance services, so I am particularly delighted that we have delivered on that commitment through the commencement of this new aeromedical service in Munster today.   

“Of course, the new service will also deliver on the recommendation of the National Trauma Steering Group to improve aeromedical services.  The new service will significantly improve access to aeromedical services for people living in the south of the country, and will complement our very successful Emergency Aeromedical Service which operates in conjunction with the Irish Air Corps. 

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the Irish Community Rapid Response for their commitment to establish this service and for their ongoing work with local communities to raise funds to maintain service delivery.   

“I would also like to thank the National Ambulance Service for the very significant work which was undertaken to get this service to commencement stage.  I look forward to visiting the new base in Rathcoole in the next few weeks to officially launch this service.” 

The new service will be delivered by the HSE National Ambulance Service in partnership with the Irish Community Rapid Response.   

The charitably funded Helicopter Emergency Medical Service will operate from Rathcoole Aerodrome, just north-east of Millstreet, County Cork.  The charity will fund the aviation service while the Government, through the HSE, will provide the clinical staff i.e. an advanced paramedic and an emergency medical technician and consumables.  Additional resources of €0.25m have been made available to the National Ambulance Service to fund the additional manpower capacity required.   

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