Vitalis Global Healthcare - the new owners of the Gozo Hospital - this morning launched an air ambulance service between Malta and Gozo.

Launching the service, Ram Tumuluri said this was the first of many improved services in the health sector.

The air ambulance will be permanently based in Gozo and will be free of charge for patients who require treatment in Malta.

Health Minister Chris Fearne said this was part of the concession agreement gained by the government.

Works will take place to convert the aircraft from a passenger helicopter into a fully equipped air ambulance that is expected to enter into service within the next couple of months. The aircraft will be based at Xewkija Heliport.

Asked for details on the financial aspects of the deal, Mr Fearne said that all contracts would be published when Parliament reconvened in October.

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