ALICANTE GENERAL HOSPITAL’S lack of a helipad adds up to 20 minutes to journeys for airlifted patients.
The hospital’s original heliport was closed some years back for failing to meet safety regulations as it was surrounded by tall buildings which complicated landing and takeoff for pilots.
Helicopters must now land at the Consortium of Fire Brigades’ landing ground in San Vicente where a waiting ambulance transfers the patient to the city’s principal hospital. The same procedure applies when transferring patients to other medical centres.
There were plans for a helipad on the roof of the hospital car park adjoining the city’s Gran Via but the €100,000 contract for installing lighting and markers has still to be put out to tender.
Valuable time is lost as airlifted cases are invariably urgent and cannot be treated at the patient’s usual hospital, particularly in burns cases or serious road accidents, hospital sources said.