20 Jun 2012

Niue medical evacuation budget cut by NZ

12:51 pm on 20 June 2012

Funding for medical evacuation flights from Niue has been cut.

The Niue Health Department says there is usally about one medivac from Niue a year, at a cost of about 95,000 US dollars per flight.

New Zealand has cut the funding for the medivacs, and the Niue government will now have to pick up the bill from its own budget.

A member of the Niue Assembly, Terry Coe, says this has the potential to take a big chunk out of Niue's budget.

"If we have a big accident, and we've got quiet a few people, it's going to be expensive and if don't control especially the road accidents, they seem to be the main ones, and also for tourists who fall and have an accident, unless they've got insurance, it's going to be a major problem."

Terry Coe says they will need to crack down on drunk and speeding drivers, and stipulate that any tourists coming to Niue must have insurance.