Investments in surgical systems contribute to pandemic readiness and health system resilience

Megan E. Bouchard, Natalie Sheneman, Matthew T. Hey, Laura Hoemeke, Fizan Abdullah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Safe surgical care, including anesthesia, obstetrics, and trauma, is an essential component of a functional health system, yet five billion people lack access to high-quality, timely and affordable surgical care. As health decision makers are grappling with how to make appropriate investments for crisis readiness and resilience, investments in surgical care should be considered for their compounding benefits to meet a country’s diverse health goals. National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anesthesia Plans (NSOAPs) are developed through global partnerships and multi-stakeholder consensus and provide a dynamic framework for surgical scale-up that also improves the resilience of the larger health system. Our paper applies principles from the literature on health system resilience to surgical systems and examines the unique capabilities of the surgical workforce and infrastructure to be redeployed during times of crisis, using examples from the current pandemic.

Keywords

  • Health system resilience
  • Pandemic readiness
  • Surgical investment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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