The SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS) celebrated the opening of the new King Shaka hangar facility at the King Shaka International Airport which took place on the 22 November 2011.
A ceremonial unveiling was held for the opening of the new AMS hangar facility built by Sizonke Civils and Engineering at the King Shaka International Airport, funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. The function was also in appreciation and thanks to our valuable partners, volunteers and supporters for their contribution in the success of the rural health outreach service (flying doctors service); and air ambulance service. The event was attended by the Special Advisor to the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Advocate Siphosihle Mdhluli; Head of Department of Health, Dr Sibongile Zungu and National Lotteries Board Chairman, Professor Ntshengedzeni Alfred Nevhutanda.
The rural health outreach service in KwaZulu-Natal provides delivery of appropriate and effective healthcare to rural communities, by flying specialists many of whom are volunteers, as well as support personnel to outlying hospitals since 1998. Specialist support is also provided to districts and secondary hospitals to address acute backlogs at district hospitals for patients in need of specialist care. In addition, the programme also addresses important community primary healthcare needs. Programmes include ophthalmology, orthopaedic appliances, E. NT., speech therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, surgery and much more.
The opening included a grand The opening included a grand display of the latest medical and aviation equipment as well as modern aircraft that will now form part of the KwaZulu-Natal rural health outreach and air ambulance programme.
The AMS together with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health hope that the new facility will allow us to increase the access of quality healthcare to all communities in KwaZulu-Natal.
The AMS was established in 1966 by the SA Red Cross Society and formed into an independent trust in 1994. The AMS is a non-profit organisation with bases in KwaZulu-Natal (King Shaka & Richards Bay), Mpumalanga (Nelspruit), Northern Cape (Kimberley), Limpopo (Polokwane), Free State (Bloemfontein), Gauteng Province (Lanseria) and the Western Cape (Cape Town & Oudtshoorn) that provides an air ambulance network, rural health outreach programme and emergency medical rescue service to all communities in these provinces. It is the mission of the AMS to contribute to the improvement in the quality of life of all communities, facilitate access to equitable and effective healthcare and the provision of aero-medical and other associated humanitarian services.
Article: African Pilot Magazine
Date: 01 Jan 2012