ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s air ambulance service has made 8,643 departures beginning with its first flight on July 12, 2011. Since its inception, 323 calls were made in 2011, 1,005 in 2012, 1,355 in 2013, 1,875 in 2014, 2,149 in 2015 and 1,936 missions in the first 10 months of this year, according to a report by the Kazakh Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development.
“For the period of 2011-2016, the medical service staff rendered 10,938 medical services; 7,850 were transporting patients, 2,434 were consultations and there were 654 surgeries. Twenty-eight percent of overall medical services were provided on the spot,” noted the official statement.
Of all the flights, 2,721 departures were from the capital, 582 from Almaty, 5,301 in the regions and 39 interregional.
Air ambulances are called for a variety of reasons. The leading causes are childhood pathology (22 percent), injuries, accidents and poisoning (21 percent) and obstetric emergencies (18 percent), according to the ministry. Dispatches are also made for newborn pathology (16 percent), blood circulation illnesses (13 percent) and neurological, infectious, surgical and all other diseases (10 percent).
“For the above-mentioned period, air ambulance teams provided medical care to 836 injured in traffic accidents. Moreover, for this period 29 flights [were made] to transport Kazakhstan citizens to medical facilities in Astana and Almaty to continue treatment at clinics overseas,” said the report.
The document noted that six flights were made to Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Saint Petersburg, Chelyabinsk and Moscow (Russia), four to Seoul and Pusan (South Korea), three to Bangkok and Pattaya (Thailand) and two each to Boston and San Francisco (United States), Cologne and Zweibrücken (Germany) and Izmir and Antalya (Turkey). Single flights were made to Beijing (China), Kiev (Ukraine), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Minsk (Belarus), Prague (the Czech Republic), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the island of Bali (Indonesia).
Thirty-five air transport units, composed of 21 airplanes and 14 helicopters, are currently being deployed in Kazakhstan for air ambulance convenience. Thirteen airline companies licensed for this type of activity render air ambulance services.
Air ambulance teams have qualified doctors on board ready around the clock to help in giving specialised and highly-specialised medical care within the country’s territory. The service is a socially-focused organisation that aims to provide timely and good quality medical help to the population residing in remote areas.
The Air Medical Service Republican (National) Centre was established Dec. 29, 2012 by government decree.