- Australian first: fast new medical jet delivers next-generation patient transport
Australian first: fast new medical jet delivers next-generation patient transport19/04/2021 – Innovation, research and technology
CareFlight today unveiled a new Gulfstream G150 jet, representing a new generation of aeromedical retrieval for Australia and its regional neighbours.
The jet was selected to deliver CareFlight’s inter-hospital aeromedical jet evacuation service based in Darwin on behalf of the Northern Territory Government. It is Australia’s first dedicated medical jet with the capability to transport critically ill patients directly across the continent and from South East Asia.
The cutting-edge medical jet’s higher speed and customised interior represent a significant advance for patient care.
“The interstate aeromedical route across Australia from Darwin is one of the longest regular aeromedical routes flown in the world. The jet for this service needs to be extremely fast and efficient to deliver direct non-stop services for critical patients to all major Australian capital cities,” CareFlight NT General Manager Philip Roberts, said.
“With a flight speed of more than 1,000 kilometres per hour and a range of more than 5,300 kilometres, the G150 can fly significantly longer distances at a much faster speed compared to any other option available in Australia today,” Mr Roberts said.
From its base in Darwin, the jet will be able to fly to Sydney and Melbourne in 3.7 hours and Adelaide and Perth in 3.2 hours. Internationally, it can reach Hong Kong in 4.2 hours, Bali in 1.7 hours and Dili in 1 hour.
The addition of the G150 jet to CareFlight’s fleet follows on from the unveiling of the H145 helicopter in February, continuing CareFlight’s efforts to advance aeromedicine for all Australians. Both the G150 jet and H145 helicopter are the first of their kind operating in Australia and set the benchmark for aeromedical evacuations nationally.
CareFlight’s G150 has a custom designed aeromedical interior with multiple cabin configuration options allowing for a diverse mix of missions including multiple patients, critical non-stop rapid neonatal services and aeromedical evaluations services for government agencies like the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The aircraft can be configured to carry CareFlight’s specialist nurse and doctor, two stretchered patients and two seated patients, or one stretchered patient and four seated patients.
CareFlight NT’s Nursing Director, Amanda Quinn, described the jet as a “game-changer” for improving patient care.
“The speed, range and efficiency of the G150 means we are getting patients to their destination faster than ever before and limiting the need to refuel during an interstate transfer. This means we’re in a better position to save lives and speed long term recovery,” she explained.
“The custom designed aeromedical interior provides dual critical care neo cot and stretcher capability with vital critical care equipment fitted to each stretcher. A large stand-up cabin allows better patient access and care as well as more room for passengers ensuring patients aren’t separated from their support people during medical emergencies,” Ms Quinn said.
“With a custom designed power loading system and the latest in-flight communication technology, the G150 jet is a multi-patient mobile intensive care unit that will change the game for inter-hospital aeromedical transfers in Australia.”
In addition to domestic patient transfers, the G150 can be deployed for aeromedical retrievals on behalf of the NCCTRC, ADF, Australian Federal Police and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The rapid response aeromedical capability can be used to respond to time-critical events like a natural disaster, humanitarian crisis, pandemic or health emergency in Australia or to our regional neighbours.
The investment of the G150 leverages Darwin’s burgeoning hub for aeromedical and emergency networks in Australia that support industry, government and the region.
“The ongoing growth of Darwin as an aeromedical hub will expand services in northern Australia and into South East Asia and, importantly, continue to improve patient care and generate more local skilled jobs in the Territory,” Mr Roberts said.