Emergency medical systems in the United States are underfunded, according to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).
The association wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, and in ir urged the president and Congress to adequately fund emergency medical centers and trauma systems. The letter was also sent to the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation.
The Ebola virus proved that the country needs to be prepared to respond to public health emergencies, the association said.
“Our ability to effectively respond to infectious diseases, bomb blasts, mass shootings and hurricanes, to name a few recent examples, is only as effective as the available personnel and resources,” the letter stated.
NAEMT said several federal organizations support the country's medical emergency systems, however, funding at the federal level is “extremely limited to help 'boots-on-the-ground' providers and state EMS offices.”
Specifically, NAEMT listed several programs that should be funded in 2015 including programs that support trauma centers, hospitals and EMS research.
“The emergency care system is only effective if all of the component parts of it are each working efficiently,” the association said in its letter. “For this reason, it is imperative that our emergency care practitioners – physicians, nurses, paramedics and EMTs – who put their lives on the line to care for their fellow Americans are appropriately supported.”