Agreements Signed for Provision of Emergency Medical Service by Speed Boats

By 5 April 2019

ZAGREB, April 5, 2019 - Agreements granting the Health Ministry a total of 45 million kuna from EU funds for the purchase of six speed boats for the provision of emergency medical aid along the Adriatic and twelve biochemical blood analysers for emergency diagnosis on the islands, were signed at the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds on Friday.

The funds will be used to procure speed boats, ensure berths in home ports and purchase blood analysers that can quickly determine whether a patient needs to be transferred to a hospital on the mainland, it was said at the signing ceremony.

The boats will be stationed on the islands of Mali Lošinj and Rab, in Zadar, Šibenik, Supetar and Dubrovnik and will serve all inhabited islands, with a total population of 122,000, and visitors during the tourist season.

The agreements were signed by Health Minister Milan Kujundžić, Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Gabrijela Žalac and the head of the Central Finance and Contracting Agency, Tomislav Petrić.

The speed boats and blood analysers will significantly improve emergency treatment of patients on the islands and facilitate the work of physicians in establishing a diagnosis and deciding on the condition of patients, Minister Kujundžić said and added that he expects the boats to be operational in two years’ time while the analysers could already be available at the start of this year's tourism season.

Minister Žalac expressed her satisfaction that the entire amount of 45 million kuna will be secured from the Competitiveness and Cohesion operational programme, noting that the number of agreements for European funding for healthcare infrastructure had accelerated this year and last.

"Together with the Health Ministry, we have advertised six of the planned calls for bids and contracted 51 projects amounting to 1.7 billion kuna, which is 85% of the envelope envisaged for the health sector in this financial period. We expect to contract the remaining 15% of the healthcare allocation by the end of the year," Žalac said.

Considering that emergency medical services have to be available to all citizens, Žalac announced the possibility of establishing a helicopter emergency medical service in the next financial period which would complement today's agreements and would facilitate the emergency medical care of patients on the islands.

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