Medical Care Gets a Big Boost

Medical Care Gets a Big Boost


From the Publisher’s Desk

For the last several years, emergency medical care has been receiving increasing attention in the legislative halls, and understandably so. This care had been a sort of stepchild of the emergency services. Some of it was very good and some very poor. Often it was completely lacking. Why this was so is something we just can’t understand. A country that can put three men on the moon at a cost of billions of dollars should surely be able to provide quick medical care and transportation for the victim of an accident or a heart attack. But things are now really looking up in this field.

We noted recently that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences have embarked on a $15-million program aimed at improving emergency medical care in the United States. The foundation was set up in 1936 by the late Robert Wood Johnson who was then chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson, manufacturers of surgical dressings.

David E. Rogers, president of the foundation, announced that the foundation intends to make grants for about 50 projects to establish regional emergency medical communications systems. Objective of these projects is to improve the ways of getting prompt and effective treatment for accident victims. Rogers believes that such treatment could save 90,000 lives each year. The grants will range from $200,000 to $400,000. These funds can be used for initiating or developing regional systems, for communications hardware, for training emergency medical communications dispatchers and emergency medical technicians.

The academy will receive and review applications for the foundation, and make site visits to evaluate a program’s effectiveness. Priority will be given to applicants whose system covers the largest geographic or population areas. Grants will most likely go to county or city governments, regional hospitals and regional nonprofit organizations that represent such interests as hospitals and emergency ambulance systems. The funding, which is for two years, will start in January 1974.

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