Australia-Malaysia Institute

Vocational Education and Training

Emergency Medicine Society of Kota Kinabalu

The Australian-Malaysia Institute (AMI) continued its support for the development of aeromedical services in Malaysia and collaboration with Australian emergency and trauma specialists by funding the participation of Emergency Medicine Society of Kota Kinabalu (EMSKK) in the 25th Scientific Meeting of the Aeromedical Society of Australasia (ASA) and Flight Nurses Australia (FNA) in Melbourne, Australia from the 28th to the 30th of September 2013.

The event was an opportunity to introduce the Emergency Retrieval Unit (ERU) of Sabah, East Malaysia to the aeromedical community. Through three speaker sessions and two poster presentations, the ERU provided insight to the international participants into local air medical transport challenges in East Malaysia and also highlighted the important elements of training and psychological effects in aeromedical retrieval.

The ERU has forged a strong connection with the aeromedical fraternity especially Australia as a result of the information sharing, and this facilitates practical and fruitful collaborations in the future.

Two men working inside a light plane. Full details in caption
Flight paramedic of Ambulance Victoria, Brad Sanders briefed President of EMSKK, Cheah Phee Kheng on the interiors of their designated HEMS Bell 412 helicopter.
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Left to right, Brad Sanders (Ambulance Victoria), Vinod Raj, Cheah Phee Kheng, Darlene F Ongkili (EMSKK), Steve Grove (Ambulance Victoria), Yeow Yeng Ling and Low Lieh Yong (EMSKK).

Careflight NSW Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operations workshop

CareFlight NSW doctors, paramedics and helicopter pilots conducted a 4 day intensive workshop at Ipoh, Malaysia in November 2012, with the aim of giving approximately 190 participants a practical introduction to the clinical and operational issues involved in Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS).

While the majority were from Malaysia, there were also participants from Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and the United Nations. The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) made two helicopters available for the course, enabling helpful demonstrations of some of the practical issues involved in HEMS operations (e.g. communication difficulties arising from noise levels and the potential dangers present when working around helicopters).

Following on from this course, a group of health professionals established a Helicopter EMS service in Kota Kinabalu Sabah and several staff from this service presented papers at the Aeromedical Society of Australasia scientific meeting held in Melbourne in August 2013. Through this project, close friendships were formed, and there are plans for ongoing collaboration between the health professionals in both countries.

Attendees gather at the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operations workshop
Attendees gather at the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operations workshop
Dr Steve Walker (Senior Staff Specialist Emergency Physician Nepean Hospital) addresses at opening ceremony
Dr Steve Walker (Senior Staff Specialist Emergency Physician Nepean Hospital) addresses at opening ceremony

Inaugural Malaysian Pre Hospital and Transport Medicine Course conducted by Careflight NSW

CareFlight NSW conducted a 3 day intensive interactive course on 'Prehospital and Transport Medicine' in Kuala Lumpur. The course was attended by 35 senior Malaysian clinicians including specialist physicians, senior nurses and paramedics represented from each Malaysian state.

Almost 7000 people lose their lives each year on Malaysian roads. Senior Malaysian physicians at the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Emergency Department and Sungai Buluh Hospital were actively involved in co-ordinating the training program with Careflight and customising the course to meet the specific needs for Malaysia. The course was interactive allowing for small groups to undertake practical sessions and share experiences.

As a direct result of this course a group of senior doctors have established a National Society for Aeromedicine Malaysia with the aim to establish a helicopter medical service.

Careflight NSW and Malaysian colleagues at UKM will continue to work closely together to develop aeromedical services in Malaysia.

Interactive training workshop
Interactive training workshop (Photo courtesy of Careflight NSW)
Dignitaries, Faculty and Participants including (front row) Dr Hj Azman Abu Bakar, Selangor State Health Director and Hon Dr Andrew Refshauge MBBS, FAICD Chairman of Careflight Board at conclusion of opening session
Dignitaries, Faculty and Participants including (front row) Dr Hj Azman Abu Bakar, Selangor State Health Director and Hon Dr Andrew Refshauge MBBS, FAICD Chairman of Careflight Board at conclusion of opening session (Photo courtesy of Careflight NSW)