Prague, Feb 1 (CTK) – A team of medical specialists will be flown to critically endangered child patients by a military helicopter based on a memorandum the Czech Defence and Health Ministers, Martin Stropnicky and Svatopluk Nemecek, signed at the military base in Prague-Kbely on Monday.
The seven-member specialist team comprised of doctors and nurses will be flown to child patients by a Mi-17 transport helicopter, based at the Prague-Kbely military airfield and specially designated for this purpose, Chief-of-Staff Josef Becvar told journalists.
It will be permanently ready to take off within 30 minutes after receiving the order, he said.
The new deal ensures faster help for newborn babies and child patients with a heart and lungs failure.
Doctors say these patients have a 70-percent change of survival if they receive treatment from the special team in time.
The country’s only team of this kind is in the General Teaching Hospital (VFN) in Prague, which sends it out across the Czech Republic if needed.
“In a situation where the children’s lives are endangered, their heart or lungs fail, every minute is important,” Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.
“If we imagine the doctors’ transport from Prague to remote places such as Ostrava (north Moravia), and if we compare the time their drive along the D1 motorway takes with that taken by a helicopter flight, it is a wonderful piece of news,” Nemecek said.
The two ministries are yet to agree on the way to finance the flights. The Defence Ministry will cover them pending a final agreement, Stropnicky (ANO) said.
Apart from helping child patients, the Czech military secures the transport of human organs and the transplant team for the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM), and also flights within the government’s MEDEVAC humanitarian programme for Czech treatment of patients from war- or disaster-stricken countries.