Kagoshima’s Yonemori Hospital calls for crowdfunding support for its medical helicopter

PUBLISHED Feb 21, 2022

An emergency patient being transported by Red Wing

Yonemori Hospital in Kagoshima City is currently seeking support for the operation of a civilian emergency helicopter Red Wing on the crowdfunding site READYFOR.

The project started on January 17. In Kagoshima Prefecture, which has 26 inhabited islands stretching about 600 kilometers from north to south, helicopters play a crucial role in saving lives. The prefectural government introduced one medical helicopter in 2011. However, there have been an increasing number of multiple requests for dispatch at the same time, resulting in a lack of helicopters to respond to all. In 2014, the hospital introduced the private emergency helicopter Red Wing to supplement the prefectural helicopter to “save as many people as possible.”

Since then, the annual number of Red Wing dispatches has exceeded 300, with 345 in fiscal 2017, 304 in 2006, 343 in 2007, and 249 in 2008. On another front, the hospital has to pay nearly 200 million yen every year for repairs and personnel costs to maintain the helicopter, which has become a serious operational issue. For this reason, the hospital decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign to supplement the maintenance costs so that it can continue to provide medical helicopter services, also hoping that the support from the general public will strengthen the motivation of the medical staff.

The target amount is 12.3 million yen, and the support package starts at 3,000 yen. As a return, supporters will receive original stickers and other items, as well as the opportunity to have their photo taken with the helicopter and a tour of the aircraft. The money raised will be used to cover part of the repair costs.

The campaign will run until 11:00 p.m. on March 31.