Taipei, Helicopters providing residents on three of Taiwan's offshore island counties with emergency medivac services, will be stationed on the islands later this month with operations scheduled to start next month, three lawmakers announced Wednesday.
Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Yang Yao (??), who represents Penghu and Kuomintang legislators Yang Chen-wu (???) and Chen Hsueh-sheng (???) from Kinmen and Matsu, respectively, held a joint press conference to announce the new services.
Yang Chen-wu said the emergency helicopters will be used to transfer critically and seriously ill patients from the offshore islands to hospitals in Taiwan to receive emergency treatment that local hospitals are ill-equipped to provide.
Improving the quality of medical care is of great importance to residents of offshore islands, Yang said, adding that in addition to enhancing medical services provided by local medical institutions, it is also crucial that critically ill patients receive the emergency medical treatment they need in a timely fashion.
He said it took the three lawmakers a year to secure the budget for the 10-year, NT$4 billion (US$132.8 million) emergency medical care project.
Under the plan, the central government will pay for the chopper fleet and patients will be required to cover only a small portion of the cost of airlifting them to Taiwan.
Describing the project's approval as the result of a joint effort by legislators from different political parties representing the three offshore island counties, Yang Yao said lawmakers should adopt a non-partisan approach to introduce other initiatives, such as public transport upgrades, that improve quality of life for their constituents.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel