BMA goes global

British doctors join the call for safer anaesthesia and surgery around the globe.

On Wednesday 24th June the British Medical Association (BMA), professional body for UK clinicians, became a voice for colleagues worldwide. Their annual conference passed a landmark resolution commending recent progress in the field of global surgery and anaesthesia, and supporting projects to make it safer.

In particular the BMA welcomed the prominent position of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) at their conference, and threw their support behind the growing campaign for Lifebox Foundation.

2015_June_BMA ARM conference_Boe_Peter Maguire with oximeter and Lifebox stand“British doctors have been involved in delivering safer surgical services worldwide for decades,” said Dr Peter Maguire, Specialty Lead for Anaesthesia.

“With the World Health Organization passing a resolution on strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia as a component of universal health coverage, now is the time to formally recognise this important work, and our contribution.”

Lifebox is an independent charity that provides essential equipment and training to operating theatres around the world, in countries where the risk of death from anaesthesia is up to 1000 times higher than in the U.K.

Co-founded by the AAGBI, it has worked with partners worldwide to send out more than 9000 pulse oximeters to hospitals in need in the last four years.

Last year the AAGBI launched the ‘Lifeboxes for Rio’ campaign, a fundraising and education drive that aims to supply 600 oximeters – same as the number of Team GB athletes attending the Olympic and Paralympic games in Brazil next year – to hospitals in low-resource settings.

“The BMA’s support is fantastic – it shows that safe access to global surgery and anaesthesia is not the sole concern of anaesthetists and surgeons, but vital to public health, and everyone’s shared responsibility,” said Dr Andrew Hartle, President of the AAGBI.

“Lifebox is able to make surgery safer for millions of people worldwide thanks to the commitment and support of our professional colleagues,” said Pauline Philip, Lifebox Chief Executive.

“There’s a global community of clinicians who understand what it takes to make surgery safer, and who strive to give the best care to their patients. We are delighted to have the support of the BMA in this work.”

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