March 22 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's transport minister Hristo Aleksiev has signed documents for the opening of a procedure for the lease of two helicopters and their crews for the needs of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), the caretaker government said on Wednesday.
The contract will be valid for two years, with an option to extend it for an additional year, the government said in a statement. The contractor must have the necessary documentation, helicopters and trained personnel to begin operations immediately.
The procedure aims to provide emergency medical services via air transport in Bulgaria in mid-2023. The services will be carried out from two HEMS operational bases provided by the state, with helicopters and crews based at each one.
The emergency services will be free of charge for Bulgarian citizens, Aleksiev added.
Last month, the health ministry said that Bulgaria would take delivery of the first of six emergency medical helicopters from Italian aerospace and defence company Leonardo on December 15, while the remaining five aircraft and related medical equipment would be delivered by 2025.