Investments In Surgical Infrastructures Would Strengthen Health Systems, Help Reduce Poverty

New York Times: How Surgery Can Fight Global Poverty
Mark C. Shrime, research director, and John G. Meara, director of the program in global surgery and social change at Harvard Medical School

“…The cost of scaling up a surgical system in resource-poor countries — about $300 billion over 18 years — represents only about five percent of the total combined expenses that governments in low- and lower-middle-income countries spend on health annually, and pales in comparison with the $12.3 trillion cost of inaction. And spending that money now will not only lower the current surgical disease burden and allow patients to return to economic productivity, but it will also make the health system itself more resilient when shocks like Ebola hit. … Surgery has been called the ‘neglected stepchild of global public health.’ To achieve the recently approved global development goals, world leaders must explicitly develop systems to bring access to safe, affordable, and timely surgery to those who need it” (9/25).