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LAHORE, May 16: The University of Health Sciences (UHS) has established an Institute of Learning Emergency Medicine to train medical students, health professionals and emergency relief workers in basic and advanced life support courses.

The institute has been established in collaboration with the Disaster Relief by Irish and Pakistani (DRIP), Ireland, National Ambulance Services College, Dublin, and Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council of Ireland.

UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Malik Husain Mubashar, Emergency Medicine University College Dublin Director Prof Dr Gerard Bury and Head of Education and Competency for the National Ambulance Services Ireland Prof Macartan Hughes inaugurated the institute on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Mubashar declared 2011 a year of emergency medicine and pre-hospital emergency care.

He said patient's immediate care was a field in medicine which needed to be standardised as most of lives were lost in first 10 'golden' minutes of any emergency such as a heart attack, stroke, shock and trauma.

“In Pakistan, the importance of emergency services is greatly undermined and even in the best facilities it is merely an extension of inpatient departments rather than a specialty in itself,” Prof Mubashar said. He said emergency departments in hospitals needed to be structured on modern clinical guidelines as practice internationally.

Prof Mubashar said the UHS had already introduced the basic and advanced life support as compulsory courses in final-year MBBS and from this year, no medical student would be awarded a degree unless he completed training and got certification in these essential courses prior to his final professional examination.

He asked Dr Bury to launch a dual degree master's programme in emergency care with a collaboration between UHS and the University College Dublin.

Ireland's Institute of Learning Emergency Medicine (ILEM) project director Dr Khurram Shahzad said international visiting faculty would launch a workshop for the emergency staff of Edhi Ambulance Services, Rescue 1122 and students and faculty of affiliated institutions of the UHS.

He said all courses were designed and delivered with a hands-on approach. Students would be encouraged to practice and demonstrate both the skills and the knowledge necessary to save lives, he said.

Dr Shahzad said faculties for courses such as Cardiac First Responder (CFR), Emergency First Responder (EFR) and other accredited courses were being developed in Pakistan and AJK. The ILEM faculties had so far trained 4,890 professionals all over the country.