Plans to allow helicopter ambulances to make night flights to and from Amsterdam and Groningen hospitals have been turned down by junior transport minister Joop Atsma, the Telegraaf reports.
The minister says taking off at night from the roof of the hospitals is too dangerous and the medical services must look for an alternative location.
Landing is not considered a problem, the paper says.
‘This decision means valuable time will be lost getting emergency help to traffic accident victims,’ said ANWB director Guido van Woerkom.
Jean Savelkoul, deputy chair of the VU university medical centre in Amsterdam said the hospital is very disappointed. ‘It’s a ridiculous state of affairs,’ he said. ‘The health ministry has said we are supposed to be optimising the use of helicopter ambulances by flying at night but another ministry rejects the request’
The ANWB motoring organisation, which operates the airborne ambulance service, has four helicopters suitable for night flying. One which will operate 24 hours a day is in Nijmegen, Nos says.
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