Problems and solutions in delivering global surgery in the 21st century. BJS 2016; 103: 165-169.

Published: 14th December 2015

Authors: F. D. McDermott, M. E. Kelly, A. Warwick, T. Arulampalam, A. J. Brooks, T. Gaarder et al.


Surgery has had low priority in global health planning, so the delivery of surgical care in low‐ and middle‐income countries is often poorly resourced. A recent Lancet Commission on Global Surgery has highlighted the need for change.


A consensus view of the problems and solutions was identified by individual surgeons from high‐income countries, familiar with surgical care in remote and poorer environments, based on recent publications related to global surgery.


The major issues identified were: the perceived unimportance of surgery, shortage of personnel, lack of appropriate training and failure to establish surgical standards, failure to appreciate local needs and poor coordination of service delivery.


Surgery deserves a higher priority in global health resource allocation. Lessons learned from participation in humanitarian crises should be considered in surgical developments.

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