The Department of Health – MIMAROPA’s (Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) air ambulance airlifted its first passenger on March 16, 2017 from Coron, Palawan in a flight bound for the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Taft Avenue, Manila.
In a statement released to Media, the patient was a 5-year old female from Barangay 6, Coron, Palawan who acquired a head injury from a motorcycle accident. She was diagnosed with a depressed fracture at the right tempo-parietal area.
“After we were informed of the patient’s case the next day, the air ambulance was immediately dispatched to Coron at 10:30 a.m. to transport her to PGH Taft Avenue, Manila, and arrived at 12:30 p.m. The Cessna 206 was used to convey the patient from Coron Airport to Tanauan Airport in Batangas,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.
Following such successful transport, Janairo emphasized the role of air medical response as a vital part in the delivery of health care because it offers the most important component in saving a patient’s life—time.
“Its capability as a primary transport in bringing a patient directly from the scene of the traumatic event to a hospital reduces the risk of mortality among critical patients,” he emphasized.
As Janairo further stressed, air transport is an essential part in emergency health care, especially in settings where access to a patient is restricted such as those who reside in the mountain, island barangays, and other areas where ground evacuation is inaccessible.
Marikina City is the first local government unit that expressed interest in the importance of the program and provided accommodation to two landing areas for the air ambulance, particularly for the R44 Helicopter through a Memorandum of Agreement between DOH-MIMAROPA and the city.
“We will also be coordinating with the city’s Rescue 161 to assist us in the transfer of patients to hospitals. Improvements will be made in the delivery of emergency care as we make headway, such as reducing delays in the transport of patients. We are hoping to have more landing clearances and access to areas with helipads and airports to avoid delay brought about by traffic congestions near health facilities in Metro Manila for a more rapid response in transferring patients,” Janairo concluded.