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Northern NSW : Autumn 2013
Review recommends Doctors on aircraft NSW is heading toanewerain rotary aeromedical services and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has a significant contribution to make. Helicopter services in NSW are provided by a range of organisations, including the government itself and other private organisations. Together we make a major contribution to the state’s health care chain. The recent review completed for the government by Ernst & Young has many recommendations and this service supports their implementation. One of the most welcome recommendations is the introduction of doctors to our Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service aircraft. We will submit in our response to the Review that the Government need not wait until 2014. Our bases and our aircraft are ready now. We have long had the good fortune to fly with professional paramedics whose contributions to patient care cannot be underestimated. Paramedics will continue to be an essential part of the delivery of medical care to patients. Being ready for any change is part of our strategic approach to being part of the health care chain. The Government introduced doctors in Sydney 25 years ago and, as was expected, they have demonstrated added value to the care of patients. Now that the Government is planning to introduce doctors into our service we have made the necessary preparations to ensure that doctors and paramedics are provided with the best possible support. It is clear that where a doctor is required it makes sense that all bases in the NSW network should be capable. It is not ideal that the closest aircraft could sit idle at its base while one carrying a doctor is tasked from elsewhere. Of course, it is a matter of funding and there are many additional demands on budgets from within the Ernst & Young Review recommendation. Nonetheless, we will include in our response our case for earliest possible introduction of doctors. The review is comprehensive and very rightly takes a state-wide view of how best to provide aeromedical services to the people of NSW. This service looks forward to continuing to be a valued and integral element of the state system. Richard Jones General Manager Photo by Chris Hohnke Westpac Rescue Helicopter Ser vice - Rescue Autumn 2013 Page 3