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Disasters are often unforeseen events. Hospitals form a critical component of any country’s disaster management medical support system. To ensure optimal operations, minimize chaos, and allow flexibility in response, planning and practice are crucial. Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) collaborated with Hasanuddin University (UnHas) in Makassar, Indonesia, to develop a Hospital Disaster Medical Support (HDMS) program for the province of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. An assessment of the needs of the hospitals in Makassar, Indonesia, for disaster preparedness was carried out. A curriculum for the HDMS program was developed based on the assessment. Discussions with stakeholders of various hospitals were held for the implementation of this program. A total of 310 participants were trained in this program over the two-year period. The feedback from the participants was positive. The exercises provided a more realistic simulation of the concepts of hospital management in a disaster situation. Up to 73 persons were also trained as program instructors during this period. The development of the cadre of instructors in hospital disaster medical support will likely help sustain the program for the next few years.
Preparation is key to dealing with the rising number of disasters occurring globally. Teams may be inexperienced, but they cannot be inadequately prepared. Rescue providers must be equipped with knowledge, skills, equipment, and supplies to manage the complex demands of a disaster. To bridge the gaps in disaster management training, the Singapore Health Services, in collaboration with the University of Hasanuddin, developed a tailored training program for the teaching of medical support at the disaster site in Indonesia. This project was conducted in Makassar for participants in the province of South Sulawesi. Over the 2-year period, the project benefitted 301 participants, with 73 identified to become Master Trainers to take over local ownership and leadership of the program. The Master Trainers would continue the training of new participants, as well as work within their agencies and with each other to bring about changes to significantly improve disaster management in Indonesia.
There is a critical and growing need for emergency physicians and emergency medicine resources worldwide. To meet this need, physicians must be trained to deliver time-sensitive interventions and life-saving emergency care. Currently, there is no internationally recognized standard curriculum that defines the basic minimum standards for emergency medicine education. To address this deficiency, the International Federation for Emergency Medicine convened a committee of international physicians, health professionals and other experts in emergency medicine and international emergency medicine development, to outline a curriculum for foundation training of medical students in emergency medicine. This curriculum document represents the consensus of recommendations by this committee.
The curriculum is designed with a focus on the basic minimum emergency medicine educational content that any medical school should be delivering to its students during undergraduate training. It is designed not to be prescriptive, but to assist educators and emergency medicine leadership in advancing physician education in basic emergency medicine content. The content would be relevant not just for communities with mature emergency medicine systems, but also for developing nations or for nations seeking to expand emergency medicine within current educational structures. We anticipate that there will be wide variability in how this curriculum is implemented and taught, reflecting the existing educational milieu, the resources available and the goals of the institutions' educational leadership.
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