Following the delivery of the first high-speed ambulance-boat for maritime medical service in Dubrovnik, the second of the six high-speed boats was anchored in Zadar’s Gaženica Port on Friday. The ambulance-boat project is valued at 10.1 million euros, and is being co-financed from European grants and the state budget.
Speaking at today’s presentation Health Minister Vili Beroš pointed out that the construction of unsinkable boats, along with medical teams and crew, is a significant step towards achieving higher quality and more accessible emergency maritime medical services. Beroš also praised the synergy of the government and the local authorities, as well as the multidisciplinary approach and interdepartmental cooperation of the Health Ministry, the Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Ministry, the Croatian Institute for Emergency Medicine, coastal county institutes for emergency medicine and the port authorities: "We can be proud of our achievements so far because we have shown that the Government is making new strides in improving the health and quality of life of both citizens and visitors to Croatia."
The ambulance-boat project is part of a broader reform of the healthcare system that also includes the establishment of a comprehensive maritime medical service which, in addition to Dubrovnik and Zadar, will have moorings in Mali Lošinj, Rab, Supetar and Šibenik.
Minister Beroš also noted the boats’ remarkable speed of up to 75 kilometers per hour, as well as manufacturing characteristics that make it effectively unsinkable: “It sounds fascinating, even impossible, but this has been confirmed by the advanced characteristics and repeated tests, behind which stand Croatian ingenuity and the innovative team from the Iskra Shipyard. For this reason this unique Croatian product has stimulated the interest of other EU countries.”
“With fast boats, we make it possible to treat patients within the so-called ‘golden hour,’ increasing the chances of survival by 30 to 50 percent, even in the worst weather conditions,” added Maja Grba Bujević, the director of the Croatian Institute for Emergency Medicine.
Finally, Minister Beroš announced that a tender for the emergency helicopter service has been issued and that a public procurement contract should be signed by the end of August, which would complete the range of services that would be offered to strengthen emergency health care.