International emergency medical services: assessment of developing prehospital systems abroad

J Emerg Med. 1999 Jul-Aug;17(4):691-6. doi: 10.1016/s0736-4679(99)00065-7.


Many developing countries are experiencing a greater need for prehospital systems because of urbanization and changing population demographics, leading to greater death rates from trauma and cardiac illnesses. While emergency medical services (EMS) systems may take a variety of forms, they usually contain some system components similar to those found in the United States. In evaluating EMS abroad, it may be useful to compare the developing system type to one of five models of EMS delivery: hospital-based, municipal, private, volunteer, and complex. Using community-based services and available health providers can enable a developing system to function within a primary health network without overtaxing scarce resources. Developing such an approach can lead to creative and effective solutions for prehospital care in developing countries.

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Urbanization