Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

7 August 2019

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Health

Lifesaving helipad at Mersey now open

The $2 million helipad at the Mersey Community Hospital is now complete, meaning more patients in the North-West will receive the care they need sooner at the health facility that is best able to provide it.

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is delivering on its plan to supercharge our aeromedical capacity as part of our $125 million package to boost ambulance services.

We now have a helipad network, specialist emergency doctors, and dedicated flight paramedics, which means an ambulance crew is no longer taken off the road when there is a call-out.

Helicopters are one of the fastest ways to move patients between facilities, and our investment into this service is saving crucial minutes – an estimated 40 minutes on average, which is saving lives.

The Mersey Helipad features special deck lighting that supports night-vision technology so that helicopters can land safely any time of the day or night. It is also designed to cater for larger rescue helicopters in future.

Until last week, aeromedical teams arriving at the Mersey to retrieve patients had to land on a roundabout on the busy Bass Highway, which caused significant traffic disruption and raised safety issues.

We delivered a new helipad to the North West Regional Hospital in 2017. The helipad was used 23 times during the last financial year – that is more than 20 Tasmanians who have received faster access to the crucial care they needed.

With the new helipad also now installed on the roof of the Royal Hobart Hospital, our aeromedical service will be a fully connected, integrated service once K Block is commissioned.

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