International meeting at RCSI calls for urgent action to improve global access to critical healthcare

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An international gathering taking place at RCSI will hear that the third Sustainable Development Goal, good health and wellbeing, cannot be achieved without improving access to surgery for underserved populations around the world.

The call was made ahead of the 12th Meeting of the Permanent Council of the G4 Alliance for Surgery, Obstetric, Trauma and Anaesthesia (SOTA) care, which takes place at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences from 11–14 November.

The meeting, which takes place while global leaders gather for the COP 27 meeting, will call for access to safe, affordable, timely surgical, obstetric, trauma and anaesthesia care to be a global health priority.

Professor Ruairi Brugha, Chair of the Institute of Global Surgery at RCSI, said: "This meeting's focus on increasing equitable access to surgical, obstetric, trauma and anaesthesia care reflects RCSI’s commitment to improving access to high-quality, essential surgical care for underserved populations. As a founder member and the only Irish-based member of this important advocacy organisation, we are delighted to welcome our fellow G4 Alliance Permanent Council members to Dublin."

President of the G4 Alliance, Dr Ruben Ayala, said: "This four-day meeting will focus on equity in technological innovations, building multidisciplinary teams, learning lessons from policy implementation, and creating shared value through partnerships. RCSI has a strong reputation across all these areas, built up through its work to improve access to high-quality surgical care for patients across sub-Saharan Africa."

Dr Laura Hoemeke, G4 Alliance Board of Directors member, said: "It is an added bonus that we will have the opportunity to meet with the RCSI students at a special student-led event during this meeting. Fostering the next generation of leaders is vitally important to building SOTA care for all."

Over twenty five speakers representing all disciplines and professions involved in surgical care will address the meeting. These speakers include Dr Cheng-Har Yip, President of the International Society of Surgery; Dr Nobhojit Roy Surgeon and Public Health expert; Dr Catherine Mohr, President, Intuitive Foundation; Professor Eric Borgstein, Professor of Surgery, University of Malawi.

Professor Brugha added: "We are honoured that Minister of State for Overseas Development and Diaspora, Colm Brophy TD, will give the opening welcome address to the G4 Alliance meeting. This is only fitting as his department, Irish Aid, has supported RCSI’s collaboration with COSECSA, the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa since 2008. This is now the largest international surgical training partnership.

"We also acknowledge BD, TEKenable and Fáilte Ireland’s Meet in Ireland programme who are supporting us in hosting the G4 Alliance Meeting. Both BD and TEKenable are current partners of ours in the Institute of Global Surgery, for the kidSURG project and the collaboration programme respectively. We really appreciate that BD and TEKenable also see that value of investing in advocacy for SOTA care, and have demonstrated this by supporting this meeting."

Building on extensive experience in surgical training, education and research partnerships in Africa, the RCSI Institute of Global Surgery works to improve access to high-quality, essential surgical care for underserved populations.

RCSI is ranked Top 50 in the world for Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being) in the Times Higher Impact Ranking (2022), reflecting its ongoing commitment to ensuring its education and research is focused on improving the lives of people and communities around the world.