A helicopter owned by De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer is
being used by health and emergency services in South Africa.
The arrangement ensures that South Africans in the remotest
regions of the country will have access to an emergency helicopter service.
The long-range twin-engine AgustaWestland helicopter, which
has the ability to fly in harsh weather conditions, has been reconfigured so
that it can transport three patients and a medical team of eight.
“This means that we
now have a supreme tool that can be used to evacuate patients in bad weather be
it night or day,” said Dr. Anchen Laubscher, the medical director of service
provider Netcare 911, in a statement. “When it comes to saving lives this is a considerable advantage.”
“We thought that a
long-range service, which could evacuate patients from remote areas would make
a tangible difference when it comes to saving lives,” said Oppenheimer in a
statement. “I am tremendously excited that the helicopter can now be used for
the greater good of all South Africans in medical emergencies.”