German medical air rescue scandal
Germany’s largest automobile club, ADAC, pledged a serious shake up on Wednesday, the day it emerged one of its managers let her son take a rescue plane on holiday to Egypt.
“We believe that only a fundamental reform will allow us to eliminate current weak spots,” ADAC president Peter Meyer said on Wednesday in a Munich meeting.
The structure of the organization and its financial activity will be reviewed, he added.
Since it emerged that ADAC’s respected “Yellow Angel” car of the year award had been fixed, and that staff members had been taking trips in company helicopters, Meyer said he plans on involving the customer more, to try to rebuild trust. But it also emerged on Wednesday that head of the ADAC service branch hastily stepped down on February 20th after her son took one of the company’s rescue planes on a holiday to Egypt. Bild newspaper reported that the manager had let her lawyer son take the plane after missing a flight.
ADAC has 12 planes, which are supposed to take vital medical equipment to the scene if any of its 19 million members are in a very serious, hard to reach accident. One is kitted out like an air ambulance.
President Meyer also made the most of the company’s air travel options. He took a rescue helicopter to a company meeting just kilometres from his house and then used it to get back home again. ADAC said in a statement: “Members of the executive committee are allowed to use stand-by machines from air rescue for official business when available.” Whether this policy will change following the company’s reforms, is unclear.
The helicopters belong to ADAC’s non-profit air rescue section and are funded by members’ donations, health insurance contributions and the state, Stern magazine reported.