TUV Leader and North Antrim MLA Jim Allister has welcomed the Health Minister’s announcement regarding the establishment of an Air Ambulance for Northern Ireland.
In a statement, Mr Allister said : “TUV has led the way in the campaign for a Northern Ireland HEMS. The late Dr John Hinds and I met with the Health Minister to press the case for such a service just a few months before the doctor was tragically killed and in September 2015 I was honoured to be asked to hand over a petition containing over 80,000 signatures calling for the establishment of the service. On 12th October 2015 TUV hosted an event at Stormont which was introduced by the late Dr Hinds’ partner, Dr Janet Acheson, and which was addressed by Dr Brian Burns from Sydney, Australia, a world expert in HEMS provision.
“Today’s announcement is welcome and means Northern Ireland, like every other region of the U.K., now has a HEMS.
“It is very fitting that the service has been given a call sign in tribute to Dr Hinds and that the announcement has come on his birthday.
“The location of the service is something which I welcome. During the Department of Health’s consultation on the issue TUV made a strong argument that the helicopter should be based in the greater Belfast. We pointed out that: “The new Critical Care Building at the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH), constructed at a total cost of £151.7m, houses the Regional Major Trauma Centre (MTC) for Northern Ireland. It therefore makes sense to have the service close to it.”
“Today is a good news day for Northern Ireland. I have no doubt that lives will be saved as a result of this announcement.”