Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

There is increasing evidence that lack of facilities, equipment, and expertise in district hospitals across many low- and middle-income countries constitutes a major barrier to accessing surgical care. However, what is less clear, is the extent to which people perceive barriers when trying to access surgical care.PubMed and EMBASE were searched using key words ("access" and "surgery," "barrier" and "surgery," "barrier" and "access"), MeSH headings ("health services availability," "developing countries," "rural population"), and the subject heading "health care access." Articles were included if they were qualitative and applied to illnesses where the treatment is primarily surgical.Key barriers included difficulty accessing surgical services due to distance, poor roads, and lack of suitable transport; lack of local resources and expertise; direct and indirect costs related to surgical care; and fear of undergoing surgery and anesthesia.The significance of cultural, financial, and structural barriers pertinent to surgery and their role in wider health care issues are discussed. Immediate action to improve financial and geographic accessibility along with investment in district hospitals is likely to make a significant impact on overcoming access and barrier issues. Further research is needed to identify issues that need to be addressed to close the gap between the care needed and that provided.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s00268-011-1010-1

Type

Journal article

Journal

World Journal of Surgery

Publication Date

05/2011

Volume

35

Pages

941 - 950

Addresses

Department of General Surgery, Epsom & St. Helier Hospitals NHS Trust, Wrythe Lane, Carshalton, Surrey, SM5 1AA, UK. carisgrimes@doctors.org.uk

Keywords

Humans, Surgical Procedures, Operative, Family, Culture, Social Support, Poverty, Income, Hospitals, District, Health Services Accessibility, Patient Acceptance of Health Care