On Friday 11th May, EU and EASA supported the agreement of a roadmap to enhance Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in Thailand. This brought together the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) and the National Institute for Emergency Medicine (NIEM) under the framework of the EU-South East Asia Aviation Partnership Project.
Helicopters are infrequently used for HEMS operations in Thailand and critical health care for heart-attack, stroke and accident victims revolves around providing proper health care during the first ‘golden’ hour. Helicopters can play an important role in ensuring rapid transport of medical teams to the site, or evacuating patients to suitable hospitals within that time. A two-step approach in Thailand is proposed – the first is to be able to rescue patients from multiple pre-approved landing sites in strategic locations under the current regulatory framework, and the second is to be able to rescue patients from any place in Thailand under the EASA system.
Director General Henrik Hololei of DG MOVE attended the event and said: “Europe is committed to its partnership with Thailand, and through EASA, we are proud to support CAAT’s ongoing regulatory work. Safe HEMS operations will also support tourism, accelerate the development of aviation business and entail the education of highly skilled aero-medical personnel in the country.”