Raymond R Price, MD
Director, Center for Global Surgery, University of Utah
Modern surgery saves lives, prevents life-long disabilities, and improves economic productivity and potential for individuals, families and communities. Yet surgery has erroneously been perceived as too expensive, too sophisticated/specialized and not appropriate for global public health initiatives. The disparity is growing between access to quality surgery in poor and low- middle-income countries and access in wealthier more developed countries. Poor countries suffer from a lack of human and physical resources, limited supplies and equipment, and few opportunities for appropriate educational and professional advancement. Today five billion people (over two-thirds of the world’s population) still lack access to timely, affordable, and quality surgical and anesthetic care. The economic loss to world economies between 2015 and 2030, if surgery and anesthesia care are not addressed, is estimated at a staggering USD $12 trillion.
Despite the challenges posed by limited resources and infrastructure, if developing countries could boost investment in surgical services they could benefit from the increased productivity, and could mitigate the substantial cost to individuals and families of caring for disabilities like fractures and club foot, or loss of a mother to her family and community for lack of timely obstetrical care.
Our Center for Global Surgery provides the right milieu for bringing a multidisciplinary approach to the analysis of challenges and potential solutions for the disparities in surgical care. Recognized internationally for its pioneering efforts, The Center for Global Surgery at the University of Utah wishes to expand its role in discovery of creative solutions to reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of healthcare, globally and in the USA. We envision a world where safe, effective, and affordable surgical care is accessible to everyone. The Center for Global Surgery intends to develop the next generation of global surgical and anesthesia leaders with the skills necessary to develop systems for quality, affordable local and international surgical care.