TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A new charter medevac flight service for Taiwan’s outlying islands will be launched in August this year, which will station aircraft on the islands when transportation for medical treatment is necessary.
The new medevac flight service will allow people on the outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Lienchiang County), to reach Taiwan much quicker in emergency situations.
Previously, if an emergency required transport from the outlying islands to the main island, a plane flown by the National Airborne Service Corp. (空勤總隊) would be required to fly from Taiwan to pick up the patient, and make a roundtrip return, which could take up to five hours.
With planes stationed on the islands that time can be cut in half, which will drastically improve chances of survival for patient's suffering in a medical emergency.
The new charter service was announced on July 18 by three legislators representing the islands. The legislators emphasized that this measure was to improve the livelihood of people on the outlying islands, by providing them with the best care the nation can offer in the most expedient manner.
The three legislators, Yang, Cheng-Wu (楊鎮浯) representing Kinmen, Yang Yao (楊曜) representing Penghu, and Chen Hsueh-sheng (陳雪生) of Lianchiang county, worked across party lines to draft the legislation that would allow for the new emergency flight service to be funded and established in cooperation with the private company Executive Aviation Taiwan Corp (飛特立航空).
The company will station a Brazilian manufactured Phenom300 model aircraft on Jinmen and Italian AugustaWestland 169 helicopters on Penghu and Kinmen, which can be quickly requisitioned for emergency use by the public when necessary.
The director of Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration, Fang Chih-Wen (方志文), was quoted by Liberty Times as saying that the final certification process for the charter service should be complete over the following week, making the aircraft available from the start of August.
The cost of the emergency flights will be covered by the central government with patients responsible for only a minor deductible, not to exceed 5 percent of the total cost , to be determined by local government.
The charter medical flight service will further integrate the healthcare infrastructure of the outlying islands with the main island, creating a more cohesive system of care for the entire country.