Worldwide, 4.8 billion people do not have access to safe, adequate surgical care and anaesthetic management. Surgical care has been deemed “the neglected child of global health,” a startling reminder of the disparities in health services. The provision of surgical interventions can avert 11% of the global burden of diseases and 1.5 million deaths each year. Many obstacles exist for low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) to progress towards accessible surgical care.
The first challenge is delivering cost-effective surgical care despite financial constraints and political turmoil. Foreign aid was established to alleviate the financial burden and its contributions have been pivotal. However, based on the political climate in certain countries, funds are siphoned to government
sectors other than healthcare. Moreover, the lack of infrastructure, equipment, and personnel in LMIC compound the issue. The other challenge is determining if surgery is as feasible and effective in comparison to non-surgical health interventions.
Surgical care is crucial, and this paper aims to understand the challenges that limit its stature in global health discussions. The presentation will address the influence of financing, infrastructure, workforce, service delivery, and information management on surgical care, and the current resolutions, such as humanitarian aid missions.
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