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Understanding Emergency Medical Services in India

Understanding Emergency Medical Services in India

To more countries, the department of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is still new or yet to be introduced in deeper levels. The reasons may vary from country to country depending on the legislation applied to health departments. Most developed countries practice EMS and keep on evolving their training methods through experienced medical practitioners input. Whereas in developing countries, EMS still remains new including our country, India.

What is Emergency Medical Services?

Emergency Medical Services are practices given out during emergencies, outside the hospital environment within a short time to the victim till he/she gets the advanced medical facilities to recover. The view of EMS and its application as mentioned earlier vary from one country to another.

Ambulance Services ≠ Emergency Medical Services

A general misconception is that most common people consider ambulance services as emergency medical services. But the truth is, it is not. Today ambulances are present for almost all medical institutions from multi-speciality hospitals to clinics.

Ambulance Services are one of the parts of Emergency Medical Services. The other parts in it are having advanced medical equipment, a team of skilled healthcare professionals and other staff for assisting loading and handling. To be precise, Emergency Medical Service reflects a change from a simple transportation system (ambulance service) to a system in which actual medical care occurred in addition to transportation.

IIEMS as a responsible training center also wishes to play our part in Ambulance Services. These services at our BLS ACLS (AHA) training centre in India has a simple transportation system with inbuilt life saving medical equipment and qualified EMTs to manage. IIEMS operates in South India- Kerala having headquarters at Kottayam and branches in Kochi and Trivandrum.

Emergency Medical Services in India

India being a developing country has been introduced to the practice of EMS from the year 2009. India does not have a centralized body regulating procedures on EMS. So the EMS models followed vary from state to state within the country. Most unions use the public-private partnership program through which EMS is provided. This model is followed in many states such as Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Similar models are also followed in other states like Bihar, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi with non-government/private non-profitable agencies operating the model.

Few problems for EMS in India

These are some of the common problems faced by Emergency Medical Services in India. Although there are significant improvements to them, these problems still need to be addressed.

  • Poor hospital infrastructure at majority hospital emergency department, especially in public hospitals on facing patients in emergency situations.
  • Lack of training and training infrastructure for training health staff (public or private) and other stakeholders in medical emergency management/first aid

    This is where Indian Institute of Emergency Services tries to contribute with updated resources, latest technology and quality skills training for Medical Professionals

  • A fleet of existing government-owned ambulances not liked with the new ERTS schemes (in terms of operational linkages and standardization across fleet).
  • No authorised central body or legislation is available in uniting and improving EMS in India.

As a contributor of EMS in India, IIEMS aims in improving Emergency Medical Care Training all over India with a mission of providing skill courses for doctors and nurses. For that, IIEMS has affiliated with global leaders in EMS providing AHA Courses, Trauma Courses and other courses in Emergency and Disaster management.