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Gozo Hospital helicopter service was not unavailable: Independent Board

Independent Board finds hospital helicopter service was not unavailableA statement from the Ministry for Health, has said that an independent board, led by Professor Joe Cacciattolo, has found that the Gozo General Hospital helicopter was available last month when a patient needed to be transferred to Malta for treatment.

The inquiry had been requested by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne after claims in some media of an incident that happened on the 24th of August at the Gozo Hospital.

Opposition Spokesperson for Gozo Affairs and Constitutional Reform Chris Said, had also called for an independent inquiry [1], following reports of the death of a Gozitan heart patient “because the helicopter service run by Steward Healthcare was not available to take him to Mater Dei.”

The Board noted that, “the procedures followed were in line with established normal practice and protocols. No difficulties were encountered during the transfer of the patient from GGH to MDH.”

It added that, “the patient was only transferred to MDH once the attending physician considered that it was safe to do so. The air ambulance helicopter was available when a decision was taken that the patient needed transfer to MDH.”

The panel also found that the arrangement between the Gozo General Hospital and Gozo Channel has been based on traditional practices and recommended that this arrangement be formalised.

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