Surgical Colleges Support the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

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Surgical Colleges Support the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

At a President's Forum on 06 May 2015 at the RACS ASC in Perth, 12 Surgical Colleges and Societies committed to support the strengthening of universal access to emergency and essential surgical care and released the following joint statement promoting this message. Eleven more colleges subsequently endorsed the statement and unanimously agreed to promote its messages.

Download a PDF of the joint statement with a list of signatories. (PDF 2MB)

We endorse the vision established through consensus by the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery:

Universal Access to Safe, Affordable Surgical and Anaesthesia Care When Needed.

We further agree to propagate the Commission's five key messages:

  1. 5 billion people are unable to access safe surgery when needed
  2. Scaling up surgical anaesthesia care will need at least 143 million additional procedures annually
  3. Affordability: current estimates suggest 33 million individuals face catastrophic health expenditure due to payment for surgery and anaesthesia each year and a further 48m from additional costs from transport, food or loss of earnings.
  4. Investment in surgical and anaesthesia services is affordable, saves lives, and promotes economic growth
  5. Surgery is an indivisible, indispensable part of health care and thus must be integrated within the health system and is essential to universal health coverage.

The Colleges undertake to promote research on access to safe, affordable and timely surgery, reporting on the WHO's and the Lancet Commission's recommended surgical indicators. We will progress these within our region and support low and middle income countries with whom we partner and will report progress at the October 2015 American College of Surgeons Congress and subsequently at the May 2016 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Congress.

We support the World Health Assembly Resolution 68/31 on the need to strengthen emergency and essential surgical care, and promote the urgency of its implementation to our respective ministries of health.

Read the Lancet Commission Report (26 April 2015).

Supported by:

American College of Surgeons

American Society of Anesthesiologists

Association of Surgeons of India

College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan

College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa

College of Surgeons of Hong Kong

College of Surgeons of Indonesia

College of Surgeons of Malaysia

College of Surgeons of Singapore

Hamad Medical Corporation Qatar

Myanmar Surgical Society

Pacific Island Surgeons Association

Papua New Guinea Surgeons Association

Philippine College of Surgeons

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons 

Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Royal College of Surgeons of England

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand

World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists