Symposium & International Forums

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International Forum - ASC Singapore, 2014

The International Forum at the ASC will be held over two days: Monday 05 - Tuesday 06 May 2014 in Singapore. This year, the Forum will be co-hosted by RACS, ANZCA and the Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence (ASAP). The Program includes sessions on the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, The Global Burden Of Surgical Disease and the Reporting of Perioperative Mortality Rates, Measuring the Effectiveness of Surgical and Anaesthetic Interventions; Dollars, DALYs and Dilemmas, and a Research Papers session including presentations from RACS Rowan Nicks Scholars.

The final program is available here (PDF 144KB)

Keynote speakers include Dr Rui Maria de Araújo, the former Minister for Health, Timor Leste, on 'The Challenges Of Building A Health
System From The Ashes', Rowan Nicks Lecturer, Datuk Harjit Singh (Malaysia) on 'Advancing Surgery In The Developing World', Dr Stephen Bickler, on 'the Global Burden of Surgical Disease', Dr Meena Cherian (WHO, Geneva) on the 'WHO Global Initiative For Emergency And Essential Surgical Care' and Dr Kelly McQueen (USA) on 'Safe Anaesthesia In Challenging Environments'.

Fellows and trainees interested in Global Surgery are also invited to join ASAP - the Alliance for Surgery and Anaesthesia Presence (an integrated society of the International Society of Surgery). Members of the ASAP Executive will be present at the International Forum with membership forms. Alternatively visit the ASAP website ( or contact Professor David Watters or Professor Russell Gruen at


J Batten R Leona

Richard Leona (left) with John Batten at the 2012 Symposium

The College has held its triennial International Medical Development Symposium since 2006. The symposium provides a unique opportunity to facilitate discussion between representatives from host nations and volunteer health professionals and organisations. It also aims to improve the relevance of medical assistance provided to developing nations across the Pacific and South East Asia region.

2012 Symposium: Global Burden of Surgical Disease

The Symposium was held over two days on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 September 2012 at the College Headquarters in Melbourne. This year the meeting was jointly convened and badged with the Australian Society of Anaesthetists, the Alliance for Surgery and Anaesthesia Presence, the Harvard-based humanitarian surgery initiative and the International Society of Surgery.

The theme for the Symposium was the Global Burden of Surgical Disease. Specialists and leaders in global surgery and anaesthesia attended from North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. The aim was to bring together surgeons, anaesthetists and other specialists, donors and policy makers, to discuss the global challen

ges facing surgery and anaesthesia. The conference addressed such topics as the measuring of unmet surgical need, the safety of surgery in low and middle income countries, essential surgical care, and the role of organisations in training, support, advocacy, and research.  

More than 150 delegates attended the Symposium to share ideas, forge partnerships and expand collaboration for improving the delivery of international development assistance. The conference also developed a Consensus Statement on Wound Management in Disaster Settings.

Visiting speakers included:

  • Dr Kelly McQueen, Alliance for Surgery and Anaesthesia Presence
  • Dr Stephen Bickler, University of California, San Diego
  • Lord Tangi o Vaonukonuka, Tonga
  • Professor Eddie McCaig, Fiji School of Medicine
  • Dr Angela Enright, World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists
  • Professor Allan Merry, University of Auckland
  • Dr Rich Gosselin, University of California, Berkley
  • Dr Wame Baravilala, United Nations Poluplation Fund's Pacific Sub Regional Office
  • Professor Eddy Rahardjo, Airlangga University, Surabaya
  • Professor Zaw Wai Soe, Myanmar Medical Association
  • Dr Manjul Joshipura, World Health Organisation
  • Mr Pedro Monzón Barata, Cuban Ambassador to Australia
  • Dr Douglas Pikacha, Solomon Islands

Note on Presentations

Some of the presentations below have been made available for viewing with the permission of the author(s).  The College is not responsible for errors or consequences from reliance on information within these presentations. Statements represent the views of the author and are not necessarily the views of the College. Information is not intended to be advice or relied on in any particular circumstance.


Session 1 - The Impact of Surgery and Anaesthesia on Global Health

Session 2 - Health Policy, Health Economics and Aid Effectiveness

Session 3 - Trauma & Disaster Response

Session 4 - Cardiovascular Disease & Cancer

Session 5 - Programs that Deliver

Session 6 - Training and Sustaining the Workforce

Session 7 - Training and Sustaining the Workforce


Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
College of Surgeons' Gardens
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia