The Minister of Health: On December 15, Bulgaria will receive its First Medical HelicopterHealth | March 21, 2023, Tuesday // 09:32| views
"On December 15 this year, we will have our first medical helicopter." This was stated by caretaker Health Minister Asen Medzhidiev on the National Television
The purchase agreement was concluded with the Italian company "Leonardo". In the following years, we will gradually receive the remaining five helicopters. One machine costs about 18 million euros, the minister said.
This week a tender is being put out for two leased helicopters, again from Italy, which will come with crews and technicians so that air rescue can start from the summer.
"I hope at the end of July we will have two operational helicopters. Thanks to the fact that we are working with Air Squad 28, we will be using the airstrips of the Air Force, which are extremely important, because the preparation for the construction of hangars and pads requires a longer process".
The national coordination center in Sofia has been determined, as well as the operational bases. The first two helicopters will land in the summer at the bases in Sofia and Dolna Mitropolia, work is underway to build at least three more bases in the country.
Apart from the already mentioned cities (Sofia, Varna, Pleven, Plovdiv and Yambol), helipads are expected to be built in Burgas, Ruse, Dobrich, Balchik, said Asen Medzhidiev.
The places for the doctors and the teams that will be trained have been announced, in parallel the training of pilots and technicians for the helicopters has started.
"Medics will be trained at the Military Medical Academy. Initially, they will be anesthesiologists, resuscitators and nurses, and they will necessarily first go through the aviation medicine department of the MMA to see if they are fit to fly, and their physical condition. Gen. Mutafchiyski even is building a mock-up of a helicopter on which the training will take place," said the health minister.
They will have better pay because they will work in tougher conditions, he assured. A doctor and a nurse will have to give at least 5-6 shifts a month and are expected to receive the equivalent of their salary in the medical facility where they work.
"Air aid will necessarily be free of charge, everything is covered by the state and the Ministry of Finance has set aside funds for it to function," Asen Medzhidiev said.
According to him, last year's health care budget was good and he gave an example of salary increases in the medical sector. He stated that during the preparation of the new budget, more funds are planned for the Health Fund.
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