ISLAMABAD  – Medical experts on Sunday urged to train general physicians and doctors to effectively handle medical emergencies in hospitals.

They said while addressing a one-day workshop on “Master Class in Emergency Medicine” organized by Shifa International Hospital here. They said emergency medicine is one of the most important fields of medicine and forefront of healthcare system. The speakers urged to form a competent body with objectives of creating evidence, suggesting treatment protocol and develop monitoring tools for patient care. They said that governmental level support should be ensured to emergency medicine.

Director Emergency Department and Emergency Medicine Programme at Shifa International Hospital (SIH), Dr Abdus Salam Khan said a properly trained physician not only serves in normal times but also saves precious lives in accidents, disasters and untoward situations. He said there is a dire need of trained and experienced emergency physicians and nurses in the country. He said that Pakistan stands at 94th position with only eight physicians for 1000 people in Pakistan while in Cuba there are 67 physicians for the population of 1000.

“We have only six beds for 1000 people whereas Japan has 137 for the same number of people. No centralized data of emergency cases is available in Pakistan,” Dr Khan added. Dr Khan, who is also the supervisor for postgraduate education in Emergency Medicine by College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP), highlighted the state of emergency medicine practices in Pakistan.

He said the world acknowledged Emergency Medicine in early 1950’s and 1960’s. American College of Emergency Medicine was created in 1968. First formal residency was started in Cincinnati in 1968.

He informed that UK started Emergency Medicine in 1952. College of Emergency Medicine was created in some form in 1967. However, Society of Emergency Physicians Pakistan (SEPP) was created in 2009.

CPSP recognized emergency medicine as a field in 2010. There are only two centers, Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad and Agha Khan University Hospital, Karachi, that offer postgraduate training in Emergency Medicine in Pakistan. Shifa started its residency training programme in 2011. The first batch of local emergency trained physicians is expected to come out in 2016, he said.

Dr Khan said all the general practitioners are also emergency care providers for small scale care. The other hospitals and institutions have defined emergency rooms, but the care is provided by untrained staff, he remarked. “Tertiary care hospitals rely on their sub-specialties to provide the emergency care,” Dr Khan said.

More than 500 general physicians and medical trainees from different parts of the country including 70 members of Rescue 1122 rescue workers, attended the workshop. Dr Abdul Sattar gave detailed presentation on basic life support (BLS), Consultant Pediatrician Dr Mazhar Raja discussed septic child treatment, Consultant Endocrinologist Dr Usama Ishtiaq highlighted diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), Consultant Cardiologist Dr Saeedullah Shah gave his presentation on cardiovascular diseases and heart attack, Associate Consultant Emergency Department Dr Khawaja Junaid Mustafa shared his views on Major Incident Medical Management and Support (MIMMS) and triage, Assistant Consultant Emergency Department Dr Sidra gave her presentation on IV fluids, Consultant Pediatrician Dr Yawar Najam gave presentation on pediatrics respiratory emergencies, Dr Ahmad discussed sepsis, Associate Consultant ENT Dr Sarim gave presentation on emergency issues and treatment of ear, nose and throat (ENT) and Dr Huma gave presentation on environmental emergencies.