The New South Wales Government has spent almost $1 million building six heavy duty ambulances for the state's growing number of seriously obese people.
The NSW Ambulance Service fleet of three mega lift ambulances, in use since 2002, will be doubled with another three of the vehicles launched today.
The addition comes after Ambulance Service research found there are some 400 people living in NSW outside of Sydney who weigh more than 200kg.
"Sadly, a few years ago we would do two or three severely obese cases a month. That's now escalated up to six cases a week," Ambulance Service operations manager Mike Willis said today.
"The whole concept of these vehicles is that there is no lifting of the patient by ambulance officers at all."
Each vehicle costs about $150,000 to fit out, which is about three times the cost of a standard ambulance, NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher told today's launch.