At a recent conference in New Delhi, Vice President Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu stressed the importance of emergency medicine, calling its availability “the difference between life and death”.
India played host to the tenth Asian Conference on Emergency Medicine in the national capital, bringing together more than 2,000 emergency medicine specialists from 32 countries. The Vice President inaugurated the Conference on Thursday, where he expounded upon the importance of trauma care and the significance of India’s plans to incorporate the discipline into undergraduate medical courses by adding an emergency medicine department to every medical college by 2022.
“Emergency care and emergency medicine [plays] a vital role in the healthcare system,” Naidu said. “The initial management and stabilisation of a patient in need of emergency care is truly a speciality on its own and requires intensive training and resources. Very often the availability of emergency care makes the difference between life and death.” As such, he said provisions for emergency medicine education are essential.
“Apart from upgrading the infrastructure in all major hospitals to meet the requirements of this emerging specialty, there is also a need to include emergency medicine and trauma care in curriculum of undergraduate courses,” Naidu elaborated. “Medical students must be trained to deal with [the] whole gamut of situations relating to emergency medicine. There is also a need to provide simulation training in emergency medicine for undergraduates and develop the necessary modules in this regard.”
Access to emergency services is vital. Naidu emphasised the need for access to trauma care across the country, including in rural India. “In a country like India where half the population lives in villages, it is essential to have at least one well-structured emergency service provider to be attached to every village,” Naidu said. “Deaths due to accidents are continuously growing, we need more people trained in emergency treatment so that we can save lives.”
In India, 95 percent of those who sustain physical trauma do not receive treatment in the “golden hour” – the timeframe after trauma is sustained when treatment ought to be initiated in order to optimise treatment outcomes. As such, Naidu’s call for trauma care highlights an issue of great importance to public health.
“There is an urgent need to attach high priority to emergency medicine and services in India,” said Naidu. “We have to invest in providing timely and high-quality emergency health services in the country.”