‘Hospitals must have emergency plan’

898588By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: Jan. 15 – A comprehensive contingency management plan is essential for hospitals in the Sultanate for providing medical assistance or first-aid in the event of a major road accident or calamity, said a medical expert. “We need to activate a contingency plan and disaster management programme for hospitals for providing emergency medical aid for victims,” Dr Mahmood al Rahbi (pictured),  Senior Consultant — Emergency Medicine, Al Nahda Hospital, said. “Whenever there is a natural calamity or a major road accident, the responsibility of providing emergency medical assistance and first-aid lies with the emergency task force of the hospital. If there is a well-defined emergency plan, a medical team can be geared up to assist the victims,” he told the Observer.
Without an emergency plan, the task of helping the injured may not be a coordinated effort, he feels.
“The biggest task of saving lives after a disaster or a major road accident is often affected by several factors such as the lack of personnel and resources, and lack of training and experience,” said Dr Al Rahbi.
Such a comprehensive plan, he said, will include how to evacuate occupants of a building in case of an emergency, measures to ensure their safety and raise the readiness of emergency departments to receive possible cases of emergency.
It will also have a plan for providing high quality medical assistance in quick time.
“Before embarking on the development of a disaster and crisis management plan, a hospital must first determine its goals clearly, define areas of the emergency plan and decide the formation of an emergency team,” he suggested.
“Once the team is formed, these members should be equipped through special scientific and practical training to raise their readiness and determine the functions of each member,” said Dr Al Rahbi. Meanwhile, the number of road accidents in the country has dipped 35.6 per cent. A total of 3,793 accidents took place on Oman’s roads last year and 5,889 in 2015.