EHS-COVID (395) Impact of COVID-19 on elective (non-urgent) surgery (9) Lack of awareness of essential surgical care as a public health issue

10 June, 2021


Dear Neil,

Your comment on our survey (in the recent paper) conducted in the pre-pandemic phase which highlights the gaps in the awareness of 'essential surgical care as a public health issue' could have had its implications on prioritising policies to ensure access to timely and safe essential surgical services including cancer services during the initial pandemic.

Therefore, its impact on disability and mortality needs to be researched further for evidence-based policies during the current pandemic phase, particularly on the vulnerable and marginalised populations.

Our HIFA colleagues can share their field experiences for us all to better understand its impact on their communities.

Best wishes

Dr Meena Nathan Cherian MBBS, MD (Anaesthesia)

Hon.Prof.Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, WHO Collaborating Centre, Western University, Canada.

Senior Advisor, Global Action, International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG), Switzerland.

Director Global Health New Challenges:online courses, Geneva Foundation for Medical Education & Research (GFMER), Switzerland.

Geneva, Switzerland.

HIFA profile: Meena Cherian is Director, Emergency & Surgical Care program, Geneva Foundation of Medical Education and Research, Geneva, Switzerland. She is a member of the HIFA working group on Essential Health Services and COVID-19. cherianm15 AT