The Emergency Medicine Society of Ghana (EMSOG) has called on managers of health facilities to prioritise the establishment of emergency medicine units in their hospitals.
That, the Society said, would help increase access to emergency services across the country and reduce preventable deaths and disabilities resulting from lack of timely emergency care and interventions.
These were in a statement signed by Dr Daniel Osei-Kwame, Interim President of EMSOG, and issued in Kumasi to mark this year’s Emergency Medicine Day celebrations, which fell on May 27.
This year’s celebration, on the theme: “A Beacon in the Dark,” was used to launch a new website for the Society and modalities for membership, sponsorship and partnership.
The statement said access to quality emergency care services was an integral part of Ghana’s effort at achieving universal health coverage by the year 2030.
It was, therefore, important for government to encourage health facilities throughout the country, whether government, private or mission, to promote emergency medicine, especially in rural communities.
“The reduction in mortality and morbidity for patients presenting with emergencies is evident in places and facilities with established emergency medicine practice in Ghana,” the statement said.
“The same, however, cannot be said for many facilities with no system in place for taking care of the acutely ill, injured or the undifferentiated patient.”
It said as much as EMSOG recognised efforts being made by the government to strengthen nationwide emergency services, especially at the pre-hospital level, with the procurement of 307 state-of-the-art ambulances, more needed to be done in the areas of training, equipment and well-resourced working environment.
The statement said Ghana now had 43 emergency physicians and 300 emergency trained nurses across the country.
The Paramedic and Emergency Care Training School at Nkenkaaso had also contributed to the training of 2,175 emergency medicine technicians, with others still being trained.
It said though the numbers were growing, they were still inadequate since most emergency centres in the country remained poorly resourced and understaffed, while several other regions and districts lacked qualified emergency service care-givers.
Emergency medicine is a branch of medicine that encompasses both pre-hospital and hospital care of the acutely injured or ill.
This involves the provision of urgent as well as emergency care to patients through a formalised, systematic, and coordinated approach interplayed amongst pre-hospital and hospital emergency staff.