Position Statement on the Role of Government in Securing Emergency Medical Care

The AAEM Board of Directors established the following position statement during its September 2001 Board meeting which was held in conjunction with the First Mediterranean Emergency Medicine Congress in Stresa, September 2-5th, 2001.



Governments have a responsibility for the total health of their societies.

The health of a people depends on much more than their healthcare system.

While recognizing that emergency care, although essential, is only one component of comprehensive health care, unrestricted access to diagnosis and treatment for emergency health conditions is a human right.

Making this a legal requirement is essential for securing adequate health care.


Position Statement:

Every government should legislate that all hospitals that provide acute medical care:

  1. Provide for the prompt initial assessment and management of all potential emergency conditions by qualified staff;
  2. Treat and stabilize all patients with emergency medical conditions, or;
  3. If the hospital has inadequate facilities to treat the condition, provide stabilization and prompt and safe transfer to a facility that can;
  4. Do not transfer any patient with an untreated emergency medical condition for reasons other than medical necessity.

This landmark document was developed by an exceptional line-up of International and US national EM leaders, including many of the original founders of the specialty.

The working group included (alphabetically listed):

  • Hashim Allam, MD, Undersecretary of Health, EMS National Director, Egypt
  • Gail Anderson, MD, Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Southern California & LAC/USC Medical Center, California, USA
  • Raed Arafat, MD, President, Romanian Society for Emergency & Disaster Medicine, Romania
  • Dennis Vella Baldacchino, MD, Malta
  • Thomas Cesario, MD, Dean, College of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, USA
  • Francesco Della Corte, MD, EuSEM Secretary & University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy
  • Herman Delooz, MD, PhD, FCCM, FFAEM (hon.), Emeritus Professor Catholic University Leuven, Visiting Professor Free University Brussels, Belgium & EuSEM President
  • Joseph Epstein, AM, FIFEM, one of the Founders and a Past President of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
  • Jean-Marie Fonrouge, MD, LD, Doctor of International Law, France
  • Lewis Goldfrank, MD, FAAEM, Chairman, EM, Bellevue Medical Center, New York, USA
  • Rina Hakimian, JD, MPH, Gertner Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Israel
  • Aaron Hexdall, MD, Bellevue Medical Center, New York, USA
  • Jerome Hoffman, MD, FAAEM, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • Zouhair Jerbi, MD, Chair, EM, Tunisia
  • Antoine Kazzi, MD, FAAEM, AAEM Board of Directors, & Associate Chief of EM, the University of California, Irvine, USA
  • Riad Khalifeh, MD, SOS President, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Ghaleb Okla, PhD, FAAMA, Associate Dean, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • Robert McNamara, MD, FAAEM, AAEM President, and Chairman of EM, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
  • Ulkumen Rodoplu, MD, President, The Emergency Medicine Association of Turkey (EMAT)
  • Peter Rosen, MD, FAAEM, Residency Director Emeritus, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • Mohamed Salameh, MD, Palestinian Authority, National EMS Director
  • Hossam Sharkawi, PhD, Coordinator, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society
  • David Schriger, MD, MPH, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • Edita Stok, MD, Ministry of Health, Slovenia


Published: 10/29/01