Our Role and Services


Our focus is on creating effective, efficient and sustainable aero-medical and ground resources in support of health systems. Our role is:

  • To manage and act as the overall coordinator of the aero-medical, emergency rescue service and rural health outreach in the various provinces in terms of assessing the needs, planning, day to day operations, monitoring and feedback to Provincial and National Health Authorities. 
  • To access the volunteer network (aero-medical) of the AMS to support the Provincial Departments of Health by supplementing the skills pool.
  • To source funding to support the development and expansion of the service.



The AMS provides air-sea and air-mountain rescue services by helicopter with more than a decade of rescue experience working with Department of Health EMS, Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) and its many affiliates including Surf-Life Saving South Africa and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).  Our stringent training programmes for hoist operators are focused around safety and efficiency and have been developed taking the international and local (military) best practices into account.  AMS brings extensive experience, strong local knowledge and a strong record of flight and rescue operational safety to the rescue service.  Our partnership with the Departments of Health and other local rescue organisations has resulted in the most effective civilian air-rescue service in Africa.

Air Ambulance

The AMS conducts aero-medical services in terms of the aviation regulatory framework. This service complements the local road ambulance service by providing rapid emergency aero-medical transportation of patients who are critically ill or injured.

Flying Doctor and Rural Health Outreach

  • 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.
  • Provides specialist support to district and secondary hospitals.
  • Decreases elective referrals from district hospitals to higher level facilities.
  • Addresses acute backlogs at district hospitals for patients in need of specialist care.
  • Addresses important community primary healthcare needs.
  • Improves rural skills by training local and medical personnel.
  • The KwaZulu-Natal service has been extended to include ground support units to access areas that has limited access by aircraft. The ground support vehicles are also used to get to hospitals which are in close proximity to the supply of doctors.
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