Health | Macau applies to join WHO network

Macau has applied to join a global network of emergency services under the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to enhance the region’s capabilities in the event of any outbreaks of disease or other public emergencies.

The verification process for membership of the WHO Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) Initiative is likely to be completed within 18 months, Health Bureau director Lei Chin Ion told reporters recently.

According to a statement issued by the Government Information Bureau, preparation for this verification involves training of local medical professionals and rescue personnel, as well as optimizing the region’s capabilities in terms of medical equipment, Lei added.

The WHO EMT Initiative assigns health professionals to provide direct clinical care to populations affected by emergencies or disasters around the world. The medical teams operate under WHO guidelines once an incident is declared. The Initiative also supports local health systems facing such circumstances.

There are three types of Foreign Medical Teams (FMTs) under the WHO EMT Initiative. Macau has applied to supply Type 1 FMT, which provides initial emergency outpatient care of injuries and other significant healthcare needs. According to the statement, the application “required well-trained and self-sufficient teams being able to provide medical treatment in the field and at the onset of a disaster.”

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