Emergency healthcare and medical response
| 09.11.2006 | 07:18:17 | Views: 3024 | ID:
September 11 '06: At a regional workshop for medical first responders and emergency officials, the Assistant Secretary of Health Admiral John Agwunobi said the US has a "long way to go before we can say we are prepared for any and every hazard," a Utah NBC affiliate, KSL reported.
Following the release this summer of three reports by the Institutes of Medicine which found the US healthcare system crumbling, Agwunobi said greater cooperation and planning among federal, state and local healthcare officials and responders was critical.In its first report released in June, the IOM said that more focus should be on the role and response mechanism of EMS. Additionally, the planning, preparedness and coordination on all levels of government response should be taken into consideration. Funding, infrastructure investments, education and research increases would help too, the report said. In the second report, the IOM said that the burden on regional emergency rooms in hospitals resulted in ambulances being turned away from hospitals "once every minute on average and patients in many areas [having to] wait hours or even days for a hospital bed." Surge capacity must be addressed to help prepare for a large-scale regional, state or national emergency, the report concluded. In the third report, the IOM looked at the current state of emergency care for children and the challenges faced in boosting pediatric emergency response and healthcare. 9/11 "rallied people beyond the usual suspects in terms of preparedness to the fray," Agwunobi said. "It brought industry, schools and made them partners in our efforts to prepare. ... A truly robust and sustained system needs to be supported by the community it serves. It needs to be supported and understood by local government, state government and federal government."
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