n South African Medical Journal - Surgery and anaesthesia in the South African context : looking forward : editorial




Historically considered an expensive, inefficient and limited public healthcare initiative, the place of surgery as the 'forgotten stepchild' of public health now leaves almost 5 billion individuals worldwide unable to access safe, affordable surgery when needed. In his keynote address at the National Forum on Surgery and Anaesthesia, held at the University of the Witwatersrand in December 2015, Deputy Minister of Health Dr Mathume Phaala stated that the ideal of a long and healthy life for all South Africans cannot be achieved without improved access to safe surgery and anaesthesia, a goal necessitating improvements in existing infrastructure, information systems, financial management and leadership.


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