The standard of care for the acutely ill and injured in Myanmar took a significant step forward with the graduation of the first ever cohort of doctors with a Diploma in Emergency Medicine in February 2014.

ISTIH contributed to part of the groundwork for the course two years ago when it sponsored visits by its Medical Advisory Committee member Associate Professor Dr Chris Curry, an emergency physician from Perth’s Fremantle Hospital.  Speaking after the graduation, Dr Curry said “the graduates, who are now the leaders for the development of the specialty of Emergency Medicine will impart their skills to the next generation of doctors, creating a rippling effect which will make a collective difference to the quality of care”.

Dr Curry has made numerous clinical teaching and advisory visits to different areas of Myanmar to impart the message that emergency medicine should be a recognised component of a comprehensive health system. It is traditionally an under-resourced branch of medicine in most developing countries. The team which delivered the training for the Diploma programme saw doctors from around Australia, as well as Dr Curry’s colleague Dr Chris Kruk, the Director of Clinical Training at Fremantle Hospital.

The course participants – ‘the EM 18’ – came from several branches of medicine and comprised orthopaedic surgeons, anaesthetists, a general surgeon, a physician and a paediatrician.  The training programme had the backing of Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and senior doctors.

ISTIH will continue to provide support to the Australian clinicians engaged in the development of emergency medicine in Myanmar. Late last month a second group of doctors commenced training towards the second Diploma in Emergency Medicine course, with the group expected to graduate in 2015