Helicopter emergency medical services are commonly provided in most of the developed countries of the world. Early starters such as Germany and the US have been operating emergency medical helicopters since 1970, marking their 40th anniversary in 2010, and next came Switzerland, France, UK, the Netherlands and Austria. Altogether, approximately 1,000 emergency medical helicopters are operated in these countries.
Basically, one emergency medical helicopter can cover an area of about 50km radius, as seen with a typical case in Germany. Helicopters generally fly at a cruising speed of 200 km/hour, so they can arrive within 15 minutes even at the furthest point of the coverage area. The doctor can reach the patient in about 8 minutes in average and starts treatment on the spot.
In the abovementioned countries, emergency medical helicopters are not only for special cases. They are being used on a daily basis just like an ambulance vehicle, responding to emergency calls several times a day. Rapid dispatch of medical team by helicopters can help save the lives of patients in cases that could have been too late if they had to wait for an ambulance car to arrive.
There is growing concern over the shortage of medical services in remote areas and people are crying out about the medical service crisis in Japan. We believe, in light of the preceding examples of the world, that these problems could be mitigated to quite an extent by the introduction of emergency medical helicopters.
This HEM-Net website provides many such examples from foreign countries. We hope you find them informative.
|Country||Year Started||Land Area(km2)||Number of HEMS Operating Base||Major Operators|
|U.S.A.||1972||9,366||714||Commetical Helicopter Operator|
|Italy||1987||301||48||Commetical Helicopter Operator|
|Spain||1989||506||25||Commetical Helicopter Operator|
|Netherlands||1995||42||4||Commetical Helicopter Operator|
|Japan||2001||378||26||Commetical Helicopter Operator|