The Mobile Medical Unit is a hospital on wheels that offers a variety of mobile health services supporting BC’s hospitals and health centres.
The MMU service
The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) is used to support BC's health authorities and BC's Ministry of Health business continuity plans. In addition, the MMU's knowledgeable team of experts provide consultative support with respect to design, maintenance and applications of mobile health solutions.
The MMU originally provided critical and surgical care capability in the Whistler Athletes Village during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The MMU became part of PHSA in 2011 and is now a flexible provincial service offering clinical support ranging from primary and outpatient care, to critical emergency and life-saving emergency surgical care. It is a valuable provincial resource, and a key component of business continuity, emergency management and disaster plans across BC.
The operational plan for the MMU includes a planned visit to each health authority on average, once a year. The MMU is maintained in a state of readiness and is also available to be called upon in the event of an unforeseen natural disaster or other emergency in which medical staff and support need to be provided quickly or a damaged health-care facility needs a replacement.
As a provincial program that equally supports all health authorities, the MMU fulfills several roles, including:
- public health outreach
- capital renovation support
- surge support, festival/event related or other
- emergency and disaster support
- medical education
Education is a major component of the MMU, and the unit delivers clinical education everywhere it travels. In particular, MMU educators provide opportunities to health-care workers to practice the essential skills that are required in mass casualty situations. The MMU has hosted numerous simulated mass-casualty educational events across the province. The situations are based on realistic and probable events within that region and the health-care workers are able to practice emergency drills they might not otherwise have the opportunity to practice.
The MMU team consists of administrative, facility maintenance and clinical professionals, including specialized physicians, nurses and paramedics. The staff’s diverse range of clinical expertise spans:
- emergency medicine
- critical care
- surgical and perioperative care
- burns and plastics
- search and rescue (including heavy urban search and rescue)
- pre-hospital care
- critical care transport
- mass gathering and event medicine
- disaster medicine
- health emergency management
This depth of knowledge in the MMU team allows for a broad range of clinical education opportunities, not just limited to mass casualty simulation.