To bring down number of pre-hospital deaths in Valley, a group Kashmiri origin doctors in United States have come together to launch a critical care ambulance services project in Valley.
The project on which the medicos have been working for more than two years is being run by KASHMER (Kashmiri American Society of Healthcare, Medical Education and Research), which is a non-profit registered in the state of New York since 2016.
“It is a member-based organization of physicians and allied healthcare personnel of Kashmiri origin in North America. The vision is to provide a platform for these professionals to network, educate, mentor and mainly to give back to the native Kashmir in the healthcare sector. We have been operational for the past three years with our regulatory and structural obligations met in the Valley as well,” said Dr Nahida Nazir, who chairs the healthcare committee of Kashmir.
She said that their most ambitious project for 2019 is the ‘Emergency Medical Services’ (EMS) Project.
“For this, we have tied up with SAVE Heart Kashmir team along with our local partner HELP Foundation. This service is set to start end of July 2019. We are starting it as a pilot program in Srinagar with two critical care ambulances manned with paramedics/EMT personnel. The control room or the central hub will be staffed by junior doctors to provide acute care en route with triage to the closest available emergency room,” she said adding this is a first such kind of service being started in Valley as there is a dire need of critical care ambulances.
A study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 2017 stated that Kashmir has the highest number of deaths and disabilities caused by road accidents and in most cases, the wounded die on way to hospitals due to the lack of critical care ambulances.
Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department to Government of Jammu and Kashmir along with Dr Omar Javed Shah, Director Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) will inaugurate the critical care ambulances are at Sheri Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in coming days.
The doctors’ part of the initiative said that EMS is non-existent in Kashmir.
“As of now, there is no robust or quality care EMS available in the valley. This has a huge healthcare impact on Kashmir. There can be a significant delay in receiving emergency medical care as pre-hospital care is lacking. As a result, mortality and morbidity go up drastically,” Dr Nahida said adding that KASHMER is desirous of changing the “transport vehicle concept of ambulances” to “lifesaving emergency medical transportation.”