Apr 25, 2017 News
Moves are apace to expand the national Emergency Medical Service [EMS] by this year end. This is according to EMS Medical Director, Dr. Zulfikar Bux.
According to Dr. Bux, currently the services of the programme, which was launched last November, extends to Cove and John, East Coast Demerara and to Golden Grove, East Bank Demerara.
However Dr. Bux has informed that “by the end of the year we will have coverage of the entire Region Four. That will account for one-third of the country’s population and this is in less than a year that we would have started this whole thing. That should show the commitment from both sides and the achievements we would have realised.”
The EMS programme in its current form is a venture that incorporates the efforts of both the public health sector and the Guyana Fire Service. By dialling 912, persons in need of urgent service can access both fire and health emergency services.
But according to Dr. Bux, strategic and deliberate efforts are being made to ensure the programme is a fully national one within five years. In becoming a national programme, Dr. Bux explained, “We will be able to cover land, air and water so that anyone in the whole of Guyana would be able to access emergency medical services at their home or at the scene of where they are injured.”
However, the intent of the programme, from the inception, was to roll it out in phases.
Phase one, the current phase, is to ensure that the entire Region Four has access to the services offered by the EMS programme. Already two batches of Emergency Medical Technicians [EMTs] have been trained to be a part of the programme. However, Dr. Bux disclosed that another batch of EMTs will be in training by year’s end.
Currently, the EMTs response under the EMS programme has been aided by three ambulances but, according to Dr. Bux, another two ambulances will be added to the response by May.
By next year, the EMS Medical Director revealed, there are plans to have the programme extended to Berbice and the West Coast of Demerara and eventually to other areas including Linden and the hinterland regions too.
“Our plan is to get this done within the next four to five years and we must say at the end of this, Guyana’s Emergency Medical Service would be able to ensure that any member of the public who needs emergency assistance will be able to have access to it,” Dr. Bux assured.
But according to Dr. Bux, although the EMTs are in the forefront of the EMS programme the public must be cognisant of the fact that they do not work in seclusion.
This is in light of the fact that they work with members of the Ministry of Public Health and other health officials at the various medical sites. “This is important because the whole vision of Emergency Medical Services is not just with the EMTs; it is to have skilled EMTs that are functioning with international standards, skilled specialist emergency physicians who function at the standard of emergency medicine and of course specialist trained emergency nurses so that at the end of five years our hope is to have coverage of all regional hospitals with Emergency Medical Technicians with emergency trained nurses, with emergency trained physicians…so if a patient suffers a heart attack or any emergency medical condition they will have a team that can come and start emergency care at their home [or wherever] and when they reach the hospital that specialised type of care will continue until we would have been able to impact that life,” related Dr. Bux.
The notion behind executing the entire programme, Dr. Bux said is have measures in place that lend to an all-round significantly improved emergency medical system here in Guyana.
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