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Emergency Medical Care Policy and Emergency Medical Technicians Bill – Kenya Council of Emergency Medical Technicians (KCEMT)

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 states that a person shall not be denied emergency medical treatment. The Constitution further obliges the State and every State organ to set standards to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights it enshrines, one of which is the right to healthcare services.

To achieve these rights, the Kenya Health Policy (KHP), 2014-2030 was developed proposing the development of an emergency policy to: provide strategies for establishing an emergency response mechanism; and outline comprehensive mechanisms for financing of emergency health services.

Subsequently, a draft Emergency Medical Care (EMC) Policy 2018-2030 was developed to establish a working emergency medical care system in the country. It proposes: the formation of an EMC Council to oversee emergency medical care; setting of standards and regulation for all EMC service providers; creating a scheme of service for all EMC professionals; regulating all EMC training; and establishing appropriate cadres of EMC professionals in both prehospital and in-hospital setting.

The draft EMC Policy was discussed by key stakeholders in the industry including the Kenya Council of Emergency Medical Technicians (KCEMT). The CS Ministry of Health is currently developing an implementation plan so as to forward the document to Cabinet for approval.

The EMC Policy recognises that pre-hospital EMTs are yet to be recognised as a cadre in Kenya’s healthcare system. EMTs are trained to assess a patient's condition, perform such emergency medical procedures as are needed to maintain a patient airway with adequate breathing and cardiovascular circulation until the patient can be transferred to an appropriate destination for advanced medical care. Interventions include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation, controlling severe external bleeding, preventing shock, childbirth, body immobilisation to prevent spinal damage, treats fractures, burns, allergic reactions, dehydration, starting IV lines, administer oxygen and deliver babies among other interventions. There are other professional professionals who play similar roles to that of EMTs in pre-hospital care including: EMRs; AEMT and Paramedics.

KCEMT therefore seek to:  

  1. Lobby for the adoption of an amended Emergency Care Policy 2018-2030 to guide the development of an EMC System and ensure every Kenyan has access and utilization of the highest attainable standard of emergency medical care.
  2. Develop an EMS/EMT Bill to enable for self-regulation of pre-hospital care professionals through KCEMT. This would provide for:
    • Recognition of all cadres of pre-hospital professionals as cadres in the health sector;
    • Provide for standardised training and sustained skills development through KCEMT;
    • Set up a disciplinary committee to ensure that pre-hospital professionals act in accordance with the set guidelines;
    • Enshrine in law the authority of pre-hospital professionals to act in a medical emergency; and,

Ensure that their practice in Kenya is aligned to global best practice. Countries such as the U.S.A. and Canada regulate EMTs and paramedics.

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