Air ambulance services
The Republican State Enterprise with the right to engage in economic activities “National coordination center for emergency medicine” of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan was established for providing emergency medical services to the population in conditions where medical institutions are located at a great distance, as well as for the rapid transportation of patients and injured when the severity of their condition requires it. In accordance with the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. 360-VI dated July 7, 2020 "On people's health and healthcare system" air ambulance is the provision of emergency medical care to the population by air transportation. This type of assistance is provided by the Republican State Enterprise with the right to engage in economic activities “National coordination center for emergency medicine” of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Medical treatment in the form of air ambulance within the guaranteed volume of free medical care is provided to citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, people having kandas status, refugees, foreigners and stateless persons permanently residing in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Air ambulance activities are carried out in the following fields:
- Transportation of patients;
- Face-to-face consultations;
- Remote medical services;
- Transportation of donor organs and biomaterial.
Our main task is to ensure the provision of timely and high quality medical care based on continuous development, improvement of the quality of services, as well as the implementation of international standards.
On average ambulance aircraft carry out from 3 to 15 flights per day. The largest share of flights are carried out to provide medical assistance in cases of injuries, including those due to road accidents, as well as childhood diseases, diseases of the circulatory system, pathologies in newborns, obstetric and gynecological pathologies, surgical, therapeutic and other diseases.
Today in Kazakhstan in the interests of air ambulance over 30 units of air transport are used, these are planes and helicopters of both Soviet design and Western models of aviation equipped with medical modules. Air ambulance services are provided by airlines licensed for this type of activity.
Organization of medical care in the form of air ambulance.
To ensure promptness and accessibility, there is a medical coordinator of the air ambulance service in medical organizations in each region. If the need arises, the coordinators send an operational request for the departure of an air ambulance aircraft to the dispatching center of the Air Ambulance Center, which is previously agreed with the management of a medical organization.
The grounds for the use of aviation services for the provision of medical assistance in the form of air ambulance are the following:
- difficulties in accessibility (lack of road surfaces, mountainous terrain, remote areas);
- failure to provide medical care due to the lack of medical equipment and (or) a qualified specialist(s) in a medical organization at patient’s location;
- providing medical assistance in accidents when it is not possible for the emergency ambulance crew to carry out medical evacuation by land and water transport;
- transportation of the patients who received qualified medical care in medical organizations for further treatment at the place of residence when it is impossible to provide transportation by land transport and on an aircraft of regular civil aviation flights, in accordance with the Regulations for the provision of medical care to passengers in civil aviation, approved by order of the Minister for Investments and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated June 6, 2017 No. 329 (registered in the State Register of Normative Legal Acts under No. 15323) (hereinafter - Order No. 329) and on the basis of a letter from a medical organization;
- transportation to medical organizations of regions, cities of republican significance and the capital of citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan and ethnic Kazakh repatriates who are in serious condition in foreign medical organizations, according to a letter of the authorized body, whose condition does not allow transportation by land transport and on an aircraft of regular civil flights aviation;
- transportation of qualified specialists to the scene of the incident and back, transportation of biomaterials for laboratory research in emergency situations with medical consequences on the written order of the authorized body;
- transportation of air ambulance crew to places of emergencies;
- transportation of qualified specialists for the provision of medical care (consultation and / or surgery, organ retrieval (parts of organs and tissues) to a medical organization at patient’s location due to the lack of medical equipment and (or) qualified specialists having respective qualifications.
Air ambulance crew
Medical assistance in the form of air ambulance is provided by national or regional air ambulance crews. Air ambulance crews include a doctor and a paramedic in accordance with patient’s pathology profile. If necessary, for medical reasons, qualified specialists are invited from medical organizations of regions, cities of republican significance and the capital, as well as educational and scientific organizations (universities).
In order to increase the availability and promptness of the provision of emergency medical care, the following was planned:
- Implementation of international standards for transport medicine;
- Improvement of the material and technical base and development of the infrastructure of medical aviation and ambulance services;
- Training and professional development of medical personnel to international standards for the provision of emergency medical care;
- Development of telemedicine technologies and smart medicine.
In order to comply with the highest international standards for the safety and quality of medical care, the Republican State Enterprise with the right to engage in economic activities “National coordination center for emergency medicine” of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan plans to undergo accreditation by the Joint Commission International (JCI). The National coordination center for emergency medicine sets as its goal to become the first medical and transport organization in the CIS countries accredited by the Joint International Commission. JCI accreditation provides the following benefits:
Internationally recognized quality of medical care that meets the strictest international standards. It is no coincidence that the largest insurance companies in the world recommend their clients to apply to organizations accredited by JCI.
- Strict quality control: JCI experts conduct health care quality management system audits at accredited clinics every three years, the standards are constantly improved and complicated, giving an incentive to the medical institution to constantly monitor and introduce innovations.
- In JCI accredited organizations, all processes are primarily focused on the interests and safety of patients.
- When developing JCI standards, the experience of the world's leading clinics is summarized, and the patient receives the best quality of medical care, reliability and guarantees.
- Multi-stage selection of medical personnel, regular testing and advanced training of doctors.
Transportation of patients
The National coordination center for emergency medicine carries out the transportation of qualified specialists to the patient’s location or his transportation in an air ambulance to the appropriate medical organization for the provision of advisory, diagnostic and medical care within the guaranteed volume of free medical care.
Patients are transported from regions to republican or regional centers, where they are provided with highly qualified assistance. In this case, air ambulance crews reach the patients, assess their conditions and provide their transportation to medical organizations.
In case of emergency medical workers, injured persons or eyewitnesses make a phone call from the scene to the "112" or "103" emergency service or to a specially created air ambulance dispatch service.
Along with the transportation of patients, conducting operations, transportation of donor organs and biomaterials, the medical staff of the National coordination center for emergency medicine provide consultations to patients on the spot.
Consultative and diagnostic assistance at the republican level is determined by objective difficulties in providing highly qualified and specialized medical care and largely solves the issues of timely life-saving interventions.
When a patient is in serious condition and is not transportable, and regional doctors do not have necessary qualifications, highly qualified specialists of the National coordination center for emergency medicine reach a patient in air ambulance to conduct on-site operations.
Remote medical services
Remote medical services are organized by the National coordination center for emergency medicine, by health care organizations, as well as educational and scientific organizations in the field of health care with the involvement of qualified specialists in order to obtain a qualified medical opinion, determine treatment tactics and indications for medical care in the form of air ambulance.
Transportation of donor organs
A new direction in air ambulance is actively developing: the transportation of donor organs. Transplantation of donor organs is a high technology process, the success of which depends on many factors, including the speed of transportation.
To start the transportation process, a resolution on the ascertaining of brain death must be obtained, which is sent to the regional coordinator of the "Republican Coordination Center for Transplantation" to check if there is a signed informed consent or refusal to donate organs.
In the absence of such consent or refusal, it is asked from close relatives and other legal representatives.
After the deceased person is recognized as a current donor, the medical organization takes all the necessary measures to maintain the vital functions of the deceased person's organs until organ retrieval.
After retrieval the organs in a specialized container are loaded onto an air ambulance aircraft and transported to a medical organization where the transplant is performed.