Understanding factors impacting global priority of emergency care: A qualitative policy analysis

Portia I. Chipendo, Yusra R. Shawar, Jeremy Shiffman, Junaid Abdul Razzak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction The high burden of emergency medical conditions has not been met with adequate financial and political prioritisation especially in low and middle-income countries. We examined the factors that have shaped the priority of global emergency care and highlight potential responses by emergency care advocates. Methods We conducted semistructured interviews with key experts in global emergency care practice, public health, health policy and advocacy. We then applied a policy framework based on political ethnography and content analysis to code for underlying themes. Results We identified problem definition, coalition building, paucity of data and positioning, as the main challenges faced by emergency care advocates. Problem definition remains the key issue, with divergent ideas on what emergency care is, should be and what solutions are to be prioritised. Proponents have struggled to portray the urgency of the issue in a way that commands action from decision-makers. The lack of data further limits their effectiveness. However, there is much reason for optimism given the network's commitment to the issue, the emerging leadership and the existence of policy windows. Conclusion To improve global priority for emergency care, proponents should take advantage of the emerging governance structure and build consensus on definitions, generate data-driven solutions, find strategic framings and engage with non-traditional allies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere006681
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • health policy
  • health services research
  • health systems
  • public health
  • qualitative study


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