Dear friends all over the world,
World Health Organization:
A separate report will soon be published in Anesthesia & Analgesia (A&A). I would like to highlight a big change from last year. In 2018, we had to take the initiative to meet with ministers of health and other authorities. This time, they came looking for us, to help them make plans to improve anaesthesia services in their countries. Major tools for doing this, are the National Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthesia plans, which we have been part of developing and to which we have contributed tools such as the Anaesthesia Facility Assessment Tool (AFAT). More than 40 countries are now in the process of developing or implementing national plans.
Global campaigns to prevent international scheduling of anaesthesia medicines:
An important part of what we are doing on the global scene is working with other organisations to prevent international scheduling of essential medicines for our practice, like ketamine and tramadol. Scheduling of these medicines will have dramatic consequences for patients where there are no alternatives available. We also campaign to improve access to opioids where those are not available for those who need it (yet not ignoring the problem of excess access in other parts of the world).
The Utstein Meeting on Metrics and Reporting Criteria for Surgery, Obstetrics & Anaesthesia Patient Safety:
A special meeting took place in June 2019. Initiated by the WFSA, this meeting brought together 38 medical experts, the WHO, UN and World Bank together to review and refine the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery’s (LCoGS) metrics:
This is important for many reasons, not least that we risk losing visibility and influence in the UN and World Bank if data is not collected and updated regularly. The meeting was funded by a generous contribution from the Laerdal Foundation.
Finding solutions to global workforce shortages is not easy:
In January, we set out some ideas in an opinion piece entitled “A Global Anaesthesia Training Framework”, published in A&A. We received limited feedback from member societies and, as a result of this feedback, have decided to discontinue the ATF initiative.
The WFSA backbone is the National Societies, in high, middle and low-income countries alike:
Your input/contribution is crucial for the way we develop, so please help us impact the future. Some National Societies have also asked us for support to develop their own structure and function. As a response to this, we have produced this guidance Characteristics of a Well-Functioning National Society
We will soon be sending out calls for nomination for the next term’s officers, Council and Committees:
Please stay tuned and identify candidates to various positions from your national society.