EMS Revisited: The Future of EMS

An essay on the future of EMS, authored in the early 1970s.


This is an excerpt from an article by John Hanlon, MD, Assistant Surgeon General, Public Health Services Special Assistant to the Adminstration, HSMHA, published in the July/August 1973 issue of EMS World Magazine. Click here to read the complete article.

One of the most encouraging and significant happenings at present is the establishment of emergency medical services as a high-priority issue. We have come to the realization that any really effective healthcare system has to include a comprehensive emergency care system.

So much is happening in both the public and private sectors that it is difficult to keep informed up to the minute. This has been a banner year for emergency health services in this country. In January 1972, the President, in his State of the Union message, directed the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to be the lead agency in the development of new ways of organizing and providing comprehensive emergency medical care. This directive has resulted in the initiation by DHEW of a coordinated federal approach to meeting the problem.

In February 1972, an EMS Special Project Office was activated under the Administrator of the Health Services and Mental Health Administration. The ultimate goal of the Special Project Office is eventually to assure to all citizens of the United States access to quality emergency medical care in a system that is related to the community’s healthcare delivery system.