Comprehensive Rural Surgical Care: A Proposal for a Pilot Project in Northeast India

To be presented at the Lancet Commission Meeting on March 11, 2016

BACKGROUND

The World Health Organization estimates that surgically treatable conditions are among the top 15 causes of physical disability and eleven percent of World’s disease burden could be treated surgically [1]. The Lancet commission on Global health estimates that in India despite 68% of the population living in rural areas only 22 percent of the health care workforce live in rural areas and this translates to 90% of the rural population lacking safe, affordable and timely health care [2].

It is difficult to meet the surgical needs of the rural population with limited workforce and resources. Efficient use of the available resources could dramatically improve the care of the rural surgical patients. The lessons learnt from supply chain concepts of companies like Coca-Cola, Walmart, and Apple could be applied to rural surgical care [3].

Northeast India is an interesting geographical location. Within a short area it has mountains, plains, rivers, special areas and rain forest, etc. representing many areas in the World. The people are also very different in culture and habits and the health scenario is way behind many areas compared to the rest of the country. It would form an ideal place for pilot study about rural surgical care.

We propose a pilot project to plan an efficient delivery of surgical care to rural patients in Northeast India especially in the Mizoram and Nagaland states.
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