On March 7, 2018, the G4 Alliance launched a consensus statement, written by the Harvard Program in Global Surgery and Social Change and the German Global Surgery Association, calling on the UN Statistical Commission to prioritize the collection of surgical and anaesthesia indicators as part of the SDG agenda and held an interactive session to explore how the collection of surgical indicator data can close the global surgical gap, drive global progress, and make the vision of health for all a reality.
There is increasing acknowledgement of the linkages between universal access to surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia care, global health and sustainable development. Within the context of the 2030 agenda, with its seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the aspiration for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the 2015 World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution 68.151 recognizing the importance of surgical and anaesthesia care as part of UHC, there had never been a more opportune time for representatives from the international, research and medical communities to come together to merge their efforts in support of the integration of surgical and anaesthesia care as part of the global health agenda. Surgical and anaesthesia services need to be adequately assessed for policymakers and practitioners to be able to better meet present and projected demands.
Yet while a wealth of data has accumulated globally over the past decades in the areas of health and health care, there remains a dearth of data related to surgical and anaesthesia care. This poses a challenge for policymakers in attempting to improve such services, as they cannot plan for what they cannot measure. At the global level, data are necessary to monitor progress towards UHC and the health-related SDGs.