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World J Surg. 2010 Sep;34(9):2003-6. doi: 10.1007/s00268-010-0610-5.

The political economy of emergency and essential surgery in global health.

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Surgery and Endoscopy, Tenwek Hospital, Bomet, Kenya.


Emergency and essential surgery (EES) remains a low priority on global health agendas even though a growing body of evidence demonstrates that EES is a cost-effective public health intervention and that it holds the potential to prevent a sizable number of deaths and disabilities. The inferior status of EES should be considered, in part, a political problem and subject to political analysis. This type of political economy examination has been used for other important global health issues but has not been applied to EES. By addressing political concerns and prospects, EES can be better positioned on international agendas, thus improving surgical care delivered to the poor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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