Access to Safe Anesthesia: A Global Perspective

Main Article Content

Brendon L. Neuen, MBBS


Basic surgery and safe anesthesia are essential health services, but their importance has been consistently undervalued in global health efforts. One third of the world population does not have access to essential surgery and even more are subjected to unsafe anesthesia. At the same time, the global burden of injuries and other non-communicable diseases requiring surgery and anesthesia is rapidly increasing. Despite tremendous global disparities in access to safe anesthesia, governments and major donors have been reluctant to prioritize the issue because of myths about burden of disease and the cost-effectiveness of surgical services. This article summarizes the most up-to-date literature on anesthetic capacity in low- and middle-income countries, discusses the compelling reasons why safe anesthesia is a vital part of health system planning and provides future strategies to improve global disparities in access to care.

Article Details

How to Cite
Neuen, B. L. (2014). Access to Safe Anesthesia: A Global Perspective. The Columbia University Journal of Global Health, 4(1), 33–35.