Emergency units staff crisis
- Published: 14/03/2013 at 05:13 PM
- Online news:
There are far too few emergency response medical personnel in the public health system to deal efficiently with the increasing number of medical emergencies, the National Institute of Emergency Medicine (NIEM) said in a statement released Thursday.
An ambulance from Chulalongkorn Hospital stands ready for any emergency. Bangkok Post file photo
It said there were about 12 million medical emergencies each year with 30% involving patients who require immediate or urgent treatment.
A study in 2007 had found that about 60,000 patients died before reaching hospital, the statement said.
It concluded that an effective emergency medical system could reduce that number by 9,000-12,000 deaths.
The study concluded the available system could save only around 4,800 of those patients, the NIEM statement said.
NIEM researcher Nongluck Pagaiya gathered data from six provinces, each having different numbers of emergency patients.
Within the scope of study, there were 2,000 individuals who qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMS)-Intermediate. However, only 44% of those had decided to work for emergency services. There were also 3,849 qualified as EMT-Basic and 101,690 as First Responders.
Ms Nongluck reported that many emergency medical personnel transferred to other units because the workload was too great. They also felt under appreciated and lacked support from their managements and staff from other departments.
On average, emergency medical personnel each had to work about 300 hours a month, with 80% of them also working as part-time staff at private hospitals -- about 2.5 times the average doctor's working hours.
NIEM acting secretary Dr Prachakwit Lebnak said many hospitals had to coordinate with local organisations and foundations in order to have enough personnel for their emergency departments.
NIEM and the Chiang Mai Public Health Office presented this information at the Emergency Medical Service Forum 2013 in Chiang Mai on March 8.
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