Natural Disasters

Health Care Comments Off
  1. A natural disaster is always unpredictable and requires crisis management.
  2. The role of medical doctors is very important. Disaster Management and Crises Management should be made compulsory subjects in MBBS and Post Graduation courses. There are protocols for medical crisis management in a war. Similar protocols should be followed during any natural disaster.
  3. Disaster Management is based on the following principles: One cannot live for more than 3 minutes without air, one cannot live for more than 3 days without water and one cannot live for more than 3 weeks without food.
  4. Triage management is the basic principle to be adopted in disaster management.
  5. Most people who reach the hospital within the first hour are the ones who are usually not injured much. The real emergencies or critical patients start coming in after one hour.
  6. Number of people reaching for medical help at the end of one hour can be multiplied by two to calculate the total requirement.
  7. In Triage management, priority should be given to people who require emergent and urgent care based on the facilities available in the set-up.
  8. Everybody in the team should know how to resuscitate a person. The senior most person should become the team leader and be responsible for management.
  9. Medical profession faces a lot of problems during the natural disaster such as scarcity of medical supply, unavailability of specialists, and scarcity of safe water. They often have to manage patients in stop gap arrangements like a hospital in the tent.
  10. The main diseases which spreads after disaster are water-borne diseases, especially cholera. If not prevented, it can also end up in another disaster. The prevention is safe water supply.
  11. Any doctor who wants to help and wishes to provide his/her services during the disaster, should go through Medical Associations like the IMA so that there is a rational use of medical resources available.
  12. Commercialization of medical profession does not mean that the medical profession will not remain noble. Corporatization is by the commercial bodies for the purpose of profit. The difference between the corporate hospital and trust hospital is that in corporate hospital money earned can be used by the Board of Directors for their personal use and in a trust, the money earned has to be used only for the purpose for which the trust was made.
  13. As far as doctors are concerned, whether they work in trust or in corporate hospital, their job is to provide services which are transparent, ethical and full of seva.