Global Cardiac Surgery: The Tipping Point for Universal Cardiovascular Health Equity?
Six billion people lack access to safe, timely, and affordable cardiac surgical care when needed. Despite these gaps and persistent disparities, recent developments have enabled a growing momentum for the field of global cardiac surgery. This article describes recent developments in the field of global cardiac surgery with a particular emphasis on academic, societal, and political momentum. It also presents an overview of the global surgery and cardiovascular health discourse that took place at the 75th World Health Assembly and look ahead toward future opportunities to move the needle toward universal access to cardiovascular healthcare.
While the gaps in access to cardiac surgical care across the globe remain enormous, the growing momentum of the field of global cardiac surgery enables cautious optimism for the future. Societal efforts, increasing funding opportunities, and virtual meetings have enabled greater international dialogue within and beyond the cardiovascular community. Achievements by the global surgical and cardiovascular health communities at high-level meetings provide an entry-point for global cardiac surgery toward greater political prioritization that is more aligned with the global burden of cardiovascular surgical disease. Cardiac surgeons, other heart team members, and trainees are critical voices in accelerating momentum toward cardiovascular health equity for all. Together, we can move beyond the tipping point.
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