SEA/RC67/13 - Strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia as a component of universal health coverage
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AbstractUniversal health coverage (UHC) emphasizes the availability, accessibility, affordability and acceptability of services provided. The Sixty-sixth Session of the Regional Committee adopted resolution SEA/RC66/R4 on Health Intervention and Technology Assessment in support of Universal Health Coverage. Surgically-treatable conditions are among the top 15 causes of disability worldwide. Conservative estimates suggest that 11% of the burden of diseases in the world can be attributed to health problems that could have been successfully treated with surgery, even in low-resource settings. As local surgical services are not available or are limited at the lowest levels of health-care facilities in many low- and lower–middle-income settings, these conditions remain untreated. There is a need to include emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia as part of UHC in order to make them accessible and affordable. Strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia services will strengthen health services and improve the outcomes of populations who need these services, such as mothers and children as well as populations at risk. The value of incorporating surgical care into health services as a step towards providing UHC has been underscored in many World Health Assembly resolutions. The High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting held in the Regional Office in New Delhi, India, from 14 to 17 July 2014 reviewed the attached working paper and made the following recommendations: Actions by Member States: (1) Member States should consider the development of appropriate health policies, plans and roadmaps to introduce emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia services at appropriate levels. (2) Health technology assessment should be conducted in order to introduce and establish appropriate, cost-effective health technologies, including emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia services by levels of care. (3) Appropriate measures should be adopted to develop the human resources required to introduce emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia services, and include training modules in the undergraduate medical and nursing curricula. (4) Blood transfusion services should be established in health facilities together with emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia services to reinforce health benefits. (5) Member States should consider the establishment of trauma centres at strategic locations and develop a good referral system with ambulance services. Actions by the WHO Regional Office: (1) The WHO Regional Office should support Member States, upon request, in developing norms, guidelines and protocols to establish emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia services at different levels of health-care facilities. (2) Member States should be supported in developing human resource capacities by organizing short training courses in surgery, anaesthesia and trauma care for medical, nursing and PSM (professions supplementary to medicine) teams. (3) Technical support should be provided to Member States, upon request, to develop checklists, guidelines and tools to monitor and ensure the safety of surgical and anaesthesia services provided at health facilities and establish hospital accreditation systems. The working paper and HLP recommendations are submitted to the Sixty-seventh Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2014). SEA/RC67/13 - Strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia as a component of universal health coverage. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/129407