International Federation of Surgical Colleges

Printer-friendly version
Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
12.9 Emergency and trauma care

24 May 2019


Statement by Lismore Nebeker on behalf of the International Federation of Surgical Colleges on the 72nd WHA agenda item 12.9:
“Emergency care systems for universal health coverage: ensuring timely care for the acutely ill and injured”

Thank you Chair;

The International Federation of Surgical Colleges (IFSC) welcomes the opportunity to submit a statement, supported by the Global Alliance for Surgery, Anesthesia, Obstetrics and Trauma care (the G4 Alliance).

We agree with the statement from the WHO’s Programme of Work that “Health emergencies weaken health systems and weak health systems amplify health emergencies” and request member states maintain a health systems approach in preparing their emergency systems.

We believe that the capability to deliver an essential package of surgical, obstetric, trauma, and anesthesia services stands as a signal function for a prepared health system with readiness to absorb shocks; whether these come from human crises or natural disasters that produce acute injury or from communicable disease epidemics that produce acute illness, both of which are expected to increase in the future.

We call upon member states not to separate emergency care systems from an integrated health system that delivers surgery, obstetric, trauma, and anesthesia capability in coordination.

We would like to emphasize succinct summaries of the essential role surgical services have within holistic and resilient health systems, that “surgery is an indivisible and indispensable part of health care” and the recent statement from Dr. Tedros in 2019 that “no country can achieve UHC unless its people have access to safe, timely and affordable surgical services”.

Thank you.