Myanmar's initiative to introduce Emergency Ambulance Services
Myanmar has been making initiatives and development program to enact on the country’s gap in healthcare, especially on the aspect of emergency medicine.
In addition to their programs, Myanmar has introduced Emergency Ambulance Services, which is seen as one of the important steps to establish an effective emergency medical service in the country.
The country’s figures revealed that 89 percent of Myanmar patients do not receive timely and systematic treatment prior to hospital admission. Further, researchers have found out that only 3 to 5 percent of emergency case admissions to a medical institution have access to ambulance services. Through the availability of emergency ambulances and prompt responses will mitigate the mortality rate in the country by 20 percent to 30 percent.
In 2014 to 2015, the number of child deaths in the country was linked with a third of childbirths, in which 62 to 72 child mortalities were seen for every 1,000 childbirths. In line with this – the government and private medical institutions, including the civil service organizations have mutually cooperated. The Yangon University of Medicine even offered Masteral Degree courses as a joint venture with the Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM).
The birth of the Emergency Ambulance Service Foundation
At present, the Emergency Ambulance Service Foundation which was established in 2016 is catering emergency medicine in Myanmar. The foundation filled the gap of the previous incompetent emergency medicine in the country that has led to unnecessary loss of limbs and even death prior to its institution. This progress is seen to reverse the reality that only 4 percent of the population is able to receive proper ambulance services in Myanmar. With the availability of Emergency Ambulance Service Foundation, Myanmar can now provide a competent and efficient emergency service to their countrymen that are of high quality and free of charge.
At present, the foundation has a task force of 5 emergency ambulances which are all completely equipped with pieces of equipment such as portable respirators, defibrillators and advanced patient monitoring devices. Their group of responders consists of proficiently trained, enthusiastic specialists and paramedics. Further, they have been catering to emergency situations such as on-road and traffic incidents (RTA), natural and man-made disaster, as well as to all medical, surgical, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedic and pediatric emergencies. To date, they have catered to about 800 emergency patients in Yangon and have saved countless lives. The foundation have enabled physicians and paramedics to work hand in hand, providing prompt, standard care on the emergency site.
The foundation’s structural plan
The foundation’s structural plan involves two phases. Phase one, which is seen at present, serves the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) Area where services for road traffic accidents, natural and man-made disasters and all medical emergencies are being catered free of charge. All of its ambulances are equipped with infusion pumps, oxygen supplies, suction machines, syringe pumps, 11 types of nebulizers, patient monitors, pulse oximeters, portable respirators, defibrillators, various stretchers and splints and emergency medications. Each is operated by trained and highly skilled paramedics and medical officers with training for primary trauma care, basic life support and advanced cardiac life support, international trauma life support training at Singapore General Hospital (SGH). These responders are available with round the clock service, provide emergency medicine timely and of quality.
On the other side, Phase Two is seen to be achieved in the near future. It involves additional ambulances that will be stationed at suitable sites in Yangon’s district at the east, west and north. Phase two would also involve pay service for EM bookings and transfers as well as they will be providing online speciality care.