Legislation Study on Emergency Medical Care Systems in the English-Speaking Caribbean
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[Introdution] A search through the relevant legislation held at the Faculty of Law Library of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill reveals that only the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago have emergency medical care systems legislation : in the Bahamas, Th e Heath Professionals (General) Regulation, 2000 Part VIII, Emergency Services Technology under section 20 of the Public Hospitals Authority Act, 1998 (Chapter 234); and in Trinidad and Tobago Th e Emergency Ambulance Services and Emergency Medical Personnel Act, 2009 (Act No. 8 of 2009). However, some countries which have not yet enacted such legislation have well organized emergency medical service / emergency ambulance service facilities. In Barbados, for example, pre-hospital emergency ambulance service is organized and administered under a specialist Accident and Emergency physician who is responsible for the medical direction and training of emergency medical dispatchers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics who are advanced emergency medical technicians, and support staff . Th e Emergency Ambulance Services Department is a Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital a government funded, organized and administered institution. Th e Emergency Ambulance Service is closely linked to the Accident and Emergency Department to which all patients are ultimately transported. In contrast to the Barbados situation, in Belize the Emergency Response Team (BERT), a non-profi t, non-governmental organization specializes in pre-hospital care in the form of emergency response and transportation. BERT responds to all medical emergencies and provides ambulance transfer services between medical facilities. Its ambulance personnel are extensively trained to nationally and internationally accepted standards, and collaborate and coordinate with all local health care facilities to ensure the best possible patient care.
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