Published: 27-05-2024 15:37 | Updated: 28-05-2024 12:03

The Centre for Health Crises welcomes that government assignment utilises our expertise

People standing in a hospital tent. The man closes to the camera as a t-shirt with the text WHO EMT on the back
Johan von Schreeb, director of the Centre for Health Crises, leads a EMT-exercise Photo: N/A

In recent weeks, the Swedish Government has issued several new assignments in health crisis preparedness, to be carried out by the National Board of Health and Welfare, including an assignment to establish a national reinforcement resource (nationell försörjningsresurs) for disaster medicine.

The Centre for Health Crises welcomes the Government's engagement in these important issues. We emphasise that the expertise that we gather can be beneficially utilised as a resource in aspects of implementing the assignment. 

In their assignment, the government describes the national reinforcement resource (nationell försörjningsresurs) as a resource that "can support a region where health services are at risk of overload at short notice ". The resource should also be able to be used internationally, since the assignment states that it should follow the World Health Organization (WHO) standards and strive to be classified according to the WHO Emergency Medical Team (EMT) initiative. 

We welcome the Government's decision to assign the National Board of Health and Welfare with creating a national reinforcement resource and argue that the focus should be on rapidly redeploying trained personnel to one or more affected regions. In order to do so, national coordination and management is required. In addition, based on our team’s expertise and long experience of working with the EMT standards within the WHO, we would like to emphasise that to be classified according to those standards requires an in-depth analysis of the health needs to be covered, as well as the context and level of EMT that should be developed and classified.

Our colleagues in the Centre for Research on Health Care in Disasters at Karolinska Institutet, wrote a factual comment on this issue in 2023 at the request of the National Board of Health and Welfare. We now look forward to an opportunity to collaborate with the board on this assignment and that our extensive experience, research on the topic, and close collaboration with EMT / WHO can thereby be useful, in order to support the development of an appropriate and useful reinforcement resource, of high quality and in compliance with international standards. We welcome close cooperation with the National Board of Health and Welfare on this government assignment.