Nearly 30 million children receive emergency medical care each year. The federal Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helps ensure emergency departments and ambulances have the equipment, supplies, and medications necessary to treat children and helps develop pediatric treatment protocols.
The funding that EMSC provides each state goes toward strengthening hospital and pre-hospital services, training first responders, and improving systems to
provide more efficient and effective pediatric emergency medical care. Specifically, EMSC funding improves access to care in rural and remote areas, helps improve capacity and transport of pediatric patients, and overall expedites emerging issues for pediatric patients.
For years, ACEP has worked in collaboration with other stakeholders, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, to promote and support appropriate funding for the important research conducted by EMSC. In 2014, our coalition worked with U.S. Representatives Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Peter King (R-NY) and Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to successfully reauthorize the program before it expired on Sept. 30. Most recently, ACEP and its partners sent a letter to both the House and Senate appropriations committees urging them to fully fund EMSC at $21 million in fiscal year 2016.
Mr. Wheeler is ACEP associate executive director for public affairs.