With an aim to improve trauma care in the country, the government has decided to make it mandatory for all medical colleges to have emergency medicine department by 2022.
“We want to develop a cadre of emergency medicine specialists so that one doesn’t have to depend on referrals at the time of emergency. The objective is to strengthen interdisciplinary care and managerial care across the country,” Board of Governors chairman V K Paul, who is also a member of Niti Aayog, told TOI .
The BoG is currently regulating medical education in the country till the new National Medical Commission is formed. The decision is expected to be notified by the health ministry soon.
Several studies have said the absence of integrated and organised systems of trauma care in India is the main cause of high rate of injury-related deaths and disabilities in the country. “In several countries, there are established Emergency Medical Systems that respond to accidents without losing any time,” Paul said.
In India, road accidents are often fatal due to the delayed response time and poor administration of first aid. Hospitals without emergency medicine department often waste time in calling or referring cases to multiple specialists. Besides, in the absence of coordination among different specialist in such cases, lives are often lost. For instance, one out of six head injury victims die in India because 90% of these victims do not receive optimal care during the ‘golden hour’. Whereas, in the US, one out of 200 such victims die, according to Indian Head Injury Foundation.
At present, residency training programmes in emergency medicine are carried out under different banners. The MD and DNB (Diplomate of National Board) post-graduate programmes host emergency medicine across a few hospitals in India. However, the number of seats are insufficient. Official statistics indicate there are around 30 medical colleges with separate department of emergency medicine. With the government making it mandatory for all medical colleges, the figure is expected to rise to 500 departments. – TOI