Helicopter emergency medical service to re-locate to Urasoe
Urasoe Sogo Hospital in Urasoe City announced May 30th that the helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) base the hospital operates is moving to Minatogawa from its current location in Yomitan.
With subsidies from the central government and Okinawa Prefecture, and land from Urasoe City alleviating costs, the hospital has decided to implement the move.
The move become an issue since Okinawa Uminosono Corporation demanded the hospital to vacate the current land used by the HEMS, due to the construction of a new hotel by Okinawa Uminosono’s parent company, Hoshino Resort Inc. The lease for the land expires in December.
The new location for the HEMS will be next to the Minatogawa heliport that is currently used by the Urasoe Sogo hospital. The new HEMS base covers approximately 5,600-square-meter area including a runaway strip, helicopter hangar, refueling facility, staff waiting area, and operating area.
The helicopter medical service activity area stretches from Tokunosima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture to Kume Island in Okinawa Prefecture. According to Urasoe Sogo Hospital, the service has about 400 operational flights annually.