South African paramedics face a number of challenges in providing pre-hospital emergency care that is timeous and of an appropriate quality. For Dr Chris Stein, an Emergency Medical Care senior lecturer within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), it is of crucial concern to make quality emergency medical care assessable to all citizens especially as road accidents and general trauma-related cases are increasing.
Dr Chris Stein was recently reelected as President of the Emergency Care Society of South Africa (ECSSA), an organisation which advocates for the advancement of pre-hospital emergency care in South Africa.
The Society wishes to address the needs of the profession through engagement with stakeholders at various levels in both the private and public sectors. Dr Stein clarified ECSSA’s role by stating the importance of the organisation in layman’s terms: “Our main stakeholder is the emergency care professionals themselves, however through their development the standard of emergency care delivery to the public will be advanced and this will have positive effects on the public’s experience of Emergency Medical Services as a whole.”
Dr Stein, who was a part of ECSSA during its earlier stages of development, pointed out that his involvement during these times required a lot of developmental work, however his role as President in this second term entails spending more time on stewardship and implementation of the Society’s strategy.
During his term in 2014, Dr Stein managed to assemble an all-inclusive strategic plan which he along with his team wish to implement during his current term of office up until the end of 2017.
“Very broadly, the strategy pertains to enhancing the acknowledgement of ECSSA as a representative organisation by our stakeholders, promotion of professionalism in emergency care and making ECSSA financially sustainable,” says Dr Stein, adding that it is important to “get more emergency care professionals involved in the Society’s activities, and expand the base of inputs into and responsibility for the Society’s activities.”
Says Dr Stein: “I feel optimistic about the reappointment and look forward to being at the forefront of the Society in meeting the challenges of enhancing the quality of pre-hospital emergency care in SA.