Implementing an emergency medical services system in Kathmandu, Nepal: a model for "white coat diplomacy"

Wilderness Environ Med. 2014 Sep;25(3):311-8. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2014.04.006. Epub 2014 Jun 19.


Wilderness medicine providers often visit foreign lands, where they come in contact with medical situations that are representative of the prevailing healthcare issues in the host countries. The standards of care for matters of acute and chronic care, public health, and crisis intervention are often below those we consider to be modern and essential. Emergency medical services (EMS) is an essential public medical service that is often found to be underdeveloped. We describe our efforts to support development of an EMS system in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, including training the first-ever class of emergency medical technicians in that country. The purpose of this description is to assist others who might attempt similar efforts in other countries and to support the notion that an effective approach to improving foreign relations is assistance such as this, which may be considered a form of "white coat diplomacy."

Keywords: EMS; Nepal; diplomacy; emergency medical services; out-of-hospital care; prehospital care.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Medical Services* / organization & administration
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / education
  • Emergency Medicine / education
  • Emergency Medicine / methods*
  • Nepal