Workshop at AIIMS to train docs in helicopter emergency services

Published on Nov 26, 2019 08:13 PM IST
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New Delhi

A three-day workshop began at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Tuesday to train a section of its doctors in Heli Emergency Medical Services and to meet the civil aviation regulator’s requirements for operating a helipad within the hospital premises.

Hindustan Times had on November 20 reported how AIIMS Trauma Centre was in the final stages of getting a rooftop helipad — after a decade-long wait — which will make it the country’s first government hospital to possess a facility to airlift and receive accident victims and critically ill patients.

The Fondation de L’académie de Médecine (FAM), a French organisation that trains doctors around the world in Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), is conducting a three-day workshop for AIIMS doctors with the help of Airbus Helicopters India.

“Director General Civil Aviation in earlier inspections had some issues, but now the infrastructure is complete as per their norms. Currently, the final leg of preparations is being taken care of to go to DGCA for approvals, which is identifying a nodal person with technical knowhow to facilitate patient transfers as per standard operating procedure,” a senior doctor at the hospital, who did not wish to be named, confirmed.

The technical training being conducted to create a nodal officer, and other support staff, which will be well versed in appropriate ways to receive and transfer an air-lifted patient.

“The training began today (Tuesday) on the helicopter emergency services. It is good to see that finally things are moving in the right direction. Hopefully by next year the helipad will be functional,” the doctor said.

According to estimates, the US and Germany have one EMS helicopter per three lakh people and per 10 lakh people, respectively. India, however, requires at least one helicopter per 50 lakh people.

Currently, the hospital receives one patient through an air-ambulance in a couple of months as compared to about 50 a month received by some of the private hospitals that regularly receive air-lifted patients, even from abroad.

“The numbers should improve once this helipad is operational,” said the doctor.


    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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