Doha: As the World Cup 2022 is fast approaching, the Ambulance Service at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has taken steps to be prepared for mass gathering.
In this regard, the Ambulance service together with the Emergency Department held a session on ‘mass gathering medicine’, during the recently held seventh Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare.
“As the country is preparing for 2022, its highly important that we are well prepared to be able to host and medically cover mass gatherings,” Brendon Morris, Executive Director, Ambulance Service, told The Peninsula.
“As the health sector, we are well prepared to ensure that all arrangements are well in place if people are ill or injured, when we have a mass gathering in the country. So we will be able to provide care in a systematic coordinated and organised way,” he added.
Mass gathering medicine, also known as event medicine, crowd medicine or mass gathering health, is a field of medicine that explores the health effects/risks of mass gatherings and the strategies that contribute positively to effective health services delivery during these events. Mass Gathering Medicine is viewed as a niche field of prehospital care in emergency medicine.
Key purposes of mass gathering medical services at an event include rapid access to the injured or ill patients, effective stabilising and transporting injured or ill patients and on-site care for minor injuries and illnesses.
“We have to consider various aspects of mass gatherings should be taken into consideration. It includes, the number of people, the age group, nature of the gathering place, the prevalence of infectious diseases in the countries which people are travelling from, food safety and security,” said Morris. “The Ambulance Service is focused on making sure if someone is ill or injured in a big stadium quick way to get to them, treat at the position and move them,” he added.
Morris said that mobile units patrolling units will be deployed and many rehearsals will be done together with other agencies on how to function during mass gatherings. He showed the recent musical concert by renowned musician A R Rahman as an example and said the Ambulance Service was well positioned and prepared, though there were no incidents reported. The fleet, equipment and staff of Ambulance Service is being increased as an ongoing process, to 2022 and beyond.
“We do increase the staff according to the needs. In 2022 we will be obviously bringing in large group of temporary staff for the event. But we will make sure they are well trained and oriented to how we work,” said Morris.Courtesy:ThePeninsula