About the MUG helicopter

De MUG-heli in 2018

The MUG Helicopter of West Flanders is the fifth largest MUG (Medical Urgency Group) emergency service in a province that has around 10 MUG services by road.

Knowing that the MUG helicopter is permanently available 7/7 and 365/365 between sunrise and sunset and saves 40 extra lives a year on average, the importance of this MUG-helicopter is certainly not negligible.

The MUG helicopter departs from its base in Bruges and within 15 minutes it can land all over West-Flanders, a whole piece of East Flanders and Zeeland, a province in the southwest of the Netherlands. In these areas the MUG helicopter can provide help within 15 minutes.

Even in areas that were not included in the above circle, the MUG helicopter can mean the difference between life and death. For example, a distance of about 10 kilometers can be bridged faster by air via a bird's eye view. Precisely this is the importance of the MUG helicopter.

The MUG helicopter, which has the same identical medical equipment as any MUG vehicle, can transport one patient in both recumbent and half-sitting positions.

The number of interventions is approximately 700 shipments per year of which approximately 85% are primary interventions and 15% are inter-hospital transports. Incidentally, the MUG helicopter also participates in some exercises and demonstrations per year, this always with fire brigades and other organizations that are responsible for medical emergency help. During these events, attention is always paid to the permanent availability of the MUG helicopter.

The cost price of our MUG helicopter can not be underestimated. The annual cost of operating the helicopter is estimated at around 600,000 euros and despite the fact that the heli proves its usefulness on a daily basis, the Medical Emergency Services Institute, which runs the helicopter, can not count on full financing by the competent authorities, on the contrary.

In contrast to similar initiatives, however, this is relatively inexpensive when considering the life-saving return. The real price of a primary intervention can and must certainly not be recovered from the transported patients who are charged the same 112 rate of ambulance transport by road.

With this EUR 600,000, the following items are covered:

  • The rental price of the helicopter
  • All necessary insurance policies
  • Wages for the pilots and technicians
  • Fuel
  • Maintenance of the device
  • The Secretary

In this amount the personnel costs for a FTE nurse and doctor are not yet included. These costs are borne by the nursing department and the anesthesia and critical care department of the hospital AZ St-Jan in Bruges.

You can find more information about the MUG heli and the Medical Urgent Care Institute at https://www.imdh.eu