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Croatia to Launch Nationwide Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

Croatia is set to enhance its national emergency response capabilities with the launch of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), covering the entire country from four air bases

Croatia is on the cusp of inaugurating its Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), set to commence in six days, announced Health Minister Vili Beroš in Osijek. The HEMS initiative aims to blanket the entire nation, with four air bases ensuring expedited and enhanced medical aid for the populace.

Beroš disclosed that 100 medical professionals, comprising 50 doctors and 50 nurses, have completed specialized HEMS training. The air bases, strategically situated in Osijek, Zagreb, and on the islands of Krk and Brač, will integrate operations with hospitals in Osijek, Zagreb, Rijeka, and Dubrovnik, enhancing the reach and efficiency of emergency services.

Further infrastructure development includes constructing a heliport in Slavonski Brod and plans for additional heliports in Pula and Zadar to support the service. The minister noted that establishing HEMS incurred a cost of €62.5 million, with the European Union contributing a €10 million grant.

Damir Važanić, Deputy Director of the Croatian Institute of Emergency Medicine, affirmed that the training phase has concluded, equipping personnel with the requisite skills for helicopter-based medical interventions. The training encompassed both technical and medical aspects, with a focus on aviation knowledge, flight theory, and the physiological impacts of flying, ensuring a well-rounded preparation for the crew.

This new service represents a significant advancement in Croatia’s emergency medical capabilities, promising rapid, high-quality, and accessible care for citizens across the country.

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