National Anaesthesia Plans
In 2015, the World Health Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution 68.15, calling for the strengthening of emergency and essential surgical and anaesthesia services as a part of universal health coverage. The passing of this resolution sent a clear message: surgery is an indispensable part of health care and there is now global recognition that health systems planning is incomplete if the surgical system is left unaddressed.
In order to solve the current crisis in surgical care that has left 5 billion people without safe and affordable surgery and anaesthesia when needed, national governments must commit significant resources to improve the availability, quality and affordability of anaesthesia and surgery within their countries. These resources, and a full scale-up plan, should be laid out in a national surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia plan (NSOAP), and integrated into the national health policy.
The WHO has compiled a document entitled Surgical Care Systems Strengthening: Developing national surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia plans to help enable countries to develop their specific plans. However, it is important to note that each country will require a specific plan designed for their individual context.
The WFSA is able to assist our member societies in compiling a National Anaesthesia Plan and can help engage governments, Ministries of Health, and the wider medical community in the importance of a National Anaesthesia Plan for public health as a whole. To find out more about the assistance we can offer please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Case study: Zambia
Zambia was the first Sub-Saharan country to create a national surgical care health policy document entitled The Zambian National Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthesia Strategic Plan. This was a year long process involving extensive review of the published literature, stakeholder engagement, facility visits, committee meetings to develop priorities, and ultimately drafting and budgeting for the plan at all levels of Zambian governance.
The Zambian National Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthesia Strategic Plan was written into the National Health Strategic Plan for 2017-2021.