Emergency Medicine was established as a specialist discipline in South Africa and registered as a division of the College of Medicine of South Africa in 2004. After almost two decades the discipline has
evolved greatly with many universities and societies seeking ways to develop this crucial area of healthcare. Great strides have indeed been made and many new graduates (emergency medicine physicians)
are now entering the public and private healthcare markets.
Even those doctors from other specialties are more aware of the role of emergency medicine in their own practice.
However, many other African countries do not have an emergency medicine training program and support structures for emergency medical training in other specialties are poorly developed.
Emergency Medicine as a discipline however is much more than just the creation of a specialist discipline in medicine. It involves the entire spectrum of doctors, nurses, administrators, pre-hospital staff, rescue, fire, health and safety, event management and disaster medicine personnel all operating in/around the public space.
Emergency medicine is the interface between medical professionals,
the medical industry and the public more so than in any other field of healthcare. At some time in our lives everyone is going to need emergency medicine of some sort or another.
The Africa Institute of Emergency Medicine (AIEM) is tasked with establishing a consolidated forum for dialogue and exchange on all aspects of emergency medicine across the continent.