EMS Guyana accomplishments internationally recognised

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Guyana Emergency Medical Services (EMS) model was recently recognised internationally. The validation came at the Vermont Healthcare and EMS Preparedness Conference which was held from November 9-12, 2017 in Vermont, USA.

Dr Zulfikar Bux, Medical Director of the Guyana EMS and Dan Batsie, Chief of EMS, Vermont at Vermont Healthcare and EMS preparedness conference.

Dr. Zulfikar Bux, Medical Director of Guyana EMS, was given the honor of being the keynote speaker at the conference. Dr. Bux said the Vermont EMS has committed to sending a team to assist with further local development whilst partnering with international support groups that have already contributed to Guyana EMS development.

“EMS development is a challenge anywhere in the world. Having the experience of these international partners will save us time and resources,” he noted.

The initiation of an EMS system in a resource challenged setting with mainly local leadership and sustenance is a ground-breaking venture and this was the main reason why the Guyana EMS caught the attention of the Vermont Healthcare and EMS system Dr. Bux added.

The Guyana EMS was officially launched in November 2016 and is a collaborative effort between the EMS office of the Ministry of Public Health and Guyana Fire Services to provide emergency medical care for members in the public domain. There are currently 54 trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) employed on three ambulances, delivering emergency medical care and transport for persons requiring the service.

The venture, Dr. Bux said, has proven its worth, responding to 2,400 emergency calls within its first year of existence. “Many lives have been positively impacted by this service.”

The Medical Director, also commended Fire Chief, Marlon Gentle and the Guyana Fire Services for adopting the EMS model and collaborating to ensure its success.

“It was an anticipated challenge to have two agencies from different Ministries intimately collaborating to deliver EMS to the public. But it (EMS) is the model that was most practical in our setting and it had to work…(Mr.) Gentle and his team have shown the willingness to evolve and adopt this modernized model. Credit must be given to him and his team for the successes that we have achieved thus far,” Dr. Bux said.

While there would have been many positives, the Guyana EMS has had to delay its projected expansion for 2017 due to a few challenges. The Medical Director of the EMS said that plans are being made to expand the services within Region four and the Berbice area for 2018.

He stated that “This is a new and unique model and it involves managing the lives of our people. We have to get it right; there isn’t room for error and quality improvement is vital as we expand. Challenges such as Ambulance accidents, rebuilding the human resource capacity, appropriate administration and training exposures of the EMTs needed to be addressed before we continued expansion.”

The model has been widely accepted and there have been requests from other Caribbean countries for assistance in developing their EMS system.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

 

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