Maldives, in a first, launches air ambulance service

Maldives, in a first, launches air ambulance service on March 1, 2024. (Photo/Health Ministry)

In a first, Maldives has launched air ambulance service on Friday.

Commencing air ambulance service is an electoral pledge of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. The service will be available 24 hours starting Friday, as confirmed to Sun by the Health Ministry.

In an earlier statement, the Health Ministry said the air ambulance is equipped with resources to provide emergency care for patients during their transfer to the nearest tertiary hospital from various areas in the Maldives. They also noted the allocation of 15 trained medical professionals in the provision of air ambulance service including doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians.

As per the Health Ministry, the purpose of this service, introduced under President Muizzu’s policies, is to ensure the provision of air ambulance in the Maldives in a sustainable manner.  

A DHC-8-200 aircraft is utilized for the air ambulance, said the Ministry.

Maldives, in a first, launches air ambulance service on March 1, 2024. (Photo/Health Ministry)

Health Minister Dr. Abdulla Khaleel has said a maximum of two patients can be carried at once on the air ambulance at the commencement of the service.

The government aims to pave way for the medical evacuation of patients to foreign nations through air ambulance. Discussions have been held with neighboring Sri Lanka in this regard, which has agreed to approve landing in the nation in cases of emergencies within a maximum of two hours.

The air ambulance service is carried out by the Health Ministry in collaboration with National Social Protection Agency (NSPA) and Island Aviation.

Prior to this, medical evacuation in the Maldives was carried out using the military helicopter and dornier aircraft donated by India.

Expelling the Indian military personnel based in the Maldives to operate these aviation platforms is another electoral pledge of the current administration. An agreement has already been reached between Maldives and India regarding the withdrawal process of the military personnel according to the Maldivian government.