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Global Health
April 19, 2016

Global Disparities Persist in Provision of Surgical Operations

JAMA. 2016;315(15):1554. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.3912

The number of surgeries is increasing worldwide, particularly in countries that spend little on health care, but wide disparities persist, according to a new report from US researchers (Weiser TG et al. Bull World Health Organ. doi:10.2471/BLT.15.159293 [published online March 1, 2016]).

The investigators estimated the global volume of surgery in 2012 and compared these estimates to surgical volume data estimates from 2004. Only 66 of the 194 World Health Organization member states had surgical data, although cesarean delivery data was available for most member states. For countries without data, the investigators extrapolated figures using multiple imputation. They classified member states based on their health spending in US dollars: very low expenditure (n = 50 states) was defined as spending $100 or less per capita annually on health care; low expenditure (n = 54), $101 to $400; middle expenditure (n = 46), $401 to $1000; and high expenditure (n = 44), $1000 or more.

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