Surgical care has long been viewed by donors as too costly and complex for low-resource health systems, apart from narrowly focused programs such as surgical contraception. The Lancet Commission review provides an in-depth examination of established assumptions about surgical needs and feasible approaches to addressing them. The review found that 5 billion people currently lack access to care for surgical conditions, and the Commission identified a range of neglected procedures that are cost-effective and feasible. The Commission also found that surgical conditions make up nearly a third of the global disease burden. As summarized by World Bank President, Jim Kim, "Surgery is an indivisible, indispensable part of health care." John G. Meara, MD, DMD, MBA is the Kletjian Professor of Global Surgery in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School, Plastic Surgeon-in-Chief at Boston Children's Hospital, and Chair for the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Health Policy Advisory Group for the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Meara's interests are in the areas of craniofacial anomalies and cleft lip and palate, with a particular interest in augmenting the delivery of quality surgical care in low-resource settings.
Thursday, February 18, 2016