Londonderry DUP MLA Gary Middleton says an air ambulance will be an additional and valuable life-saving asset for citizens, if and when it gets off the ground.
Mr Middelton made the comments as Health Minister Simon Hamilton gave his commitment to establishing a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) as an integral part of the Trauma Network for Northern Ireland.
The local DUP representative said: “The announcement by the Health Minister Simon Hamilton is very welcome and timely. The health and safety of our citizens is of upmost priority and there is no doubt that the addition of an air ambulance to our major trauma network will help save lives.
“The air ambulance will be a dedicated service to Northern Ireland, providing cover to ensure that those who are in medical emergency get the appropriate care as efficiently and quickly as possible.
“Too often we hear of serious life-threatening incidents, whether on our roads or at sporting events. Access to an air ambulance will be an additional and valuable life saving asset to those who may require it.”
The Minister said: “I believe that the time is right to transform our major trauma services with the development of the new Critical Care Building at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the supportive public debate on the need for a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service providing the opportunity for this.
“I am therefore announcing today my commitment to further strengthen our existing high quality trauma services by enabling clinicians to take this service to the next level. This commitment involves the establishment of the Northern Ireland Trauma Network, with recurrent investment of £211,000 to operate the Network, and plans to move forward with a HEMS as a key component of the network.”