The number of people waiting for surgery continues to grow globally. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2030, the number of people waiting for surgery will reach 130 million. This is a daunting figure, but there is hope.
A group of experts have come together to offer guidance on how to make surgery safer for patients and to address the global elective surgery waiting list crisis. The group includes representatives from the American College of Surgeons, the International Society of Surgery, the European Society of Anaesthesiology, and the WHO.
The guidance they offer is based on the concept of the safe surgery checklist. This checklist was first introduced in 2008 by the World Health Organization and it has been shown to reduce surgical complications by as much as 47%.
The guidance offered by the experts includes adapting the checklist to the local context, engaging patients and their families in the surgical process, and ensuring that everyone involved in the surgery understands their role and responsibilities.
With this guidance, it is hoped that the number of people waiting for surgery will decrease, and that the safety of those who do undergo surgery will improve.
A new report published today in The Lancet provides the first ever evidence-based roadmap for addressing global elective surgery waiting lists. The report, co-authored by more than 30 international experts from 11 countries, provides comprehensive guidance on how to improve access to surgery and anaesthesia care while ensuring patient safety.
The report shows that an estimated 583 million people worldwide are waiting for elective surgery. This includes people waiting for procedures such as hernia repairs, Caesarean sections, and cataract surgery.
The authors say that while it is essential to address the global burden of surgical disease, it is also important to do so in a way that safeguards patients.
They note that many countries do not have the necessary infrastructure or resources in place to provide safe surgical care. As a result, patients often face long wait times and are at risk of complications.
The report provides a framework for addressing these challenges. It includes recommendations on everything from preoperative assessment and patient education to anaesthesia and postoperative care.
The authors say that the implementation of this framework will require a concerted effort from all stakeholders, including governments, health care providers, and funding bodies.
They add that the roadmap provides a starting point for addressing the global challenge of surgical access. With the right level of commitment, they believe it is possible to provide safe and timely access to surgery for all.