Access To Surgery Could Improve Health, Boost Economic Productivity In LMICs

Project Syndicate: Surgery for All
Junaid Nabi, physician, public health researcher, and 2018 Aspen New Voices fellow

“…One of the biggest obstacles to achieving universal health coverage … is financing. And, paradoxical as it may sound, one of the best ways that governments can get the money they need to expand coverage is by making surgery more widely available. Time-sensitive health problems — such as injuries from traffic accidents and pregnancy-related complications — are among the leading causes of death and disability in low- and middle-income countries. But untreated or undertreated conditions requiring surgery also hurt economic productivity. … [R]eforms that focus more attention on the importance of surgery would boost economic productivity and help create more equitable health care for everyone. … One of the most effective ways to maintain [economic] growth and development is to ensure access to safe and affordable health care — including surgery. While the cost of providing it may be high, the cost of not providing it is even higher” (10/26).

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