Name Palestinian surgical training: local faculty, local delivery

John Anderson, Magdalena IonescuEmail the author Magdalena Ionescu, Umaiyeh Khammash, Ruth McKee, Dina Nasser, David Sedgwick, Kenneth Walker, Ian Wallace


We write with an update to The Lancet World Report,1 entitled “Scalpel solidarity: surgery in Palestine” (June 18, 2011, p 2069).

The update retains an innovative quality, despite the timescale, because the endeavour itself is associated with the basic right to life. With little or no emergency access to a specialist surgical centre, having a well trained local general surgeon and supporservices is vital. The LancetCommission on Global Surgery2 sparked debate about access to surgical treatment of a good standard in low-income and middle-income countries. Our project is one example of a small-scale effort to address the global need for adequate surgical care, based on good relations, with potentially significant outcomes.

In 2011, the first Basic Surgical Skills Course (BSSC) for Palestinian surgical trainees, as credentialled by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), was delivered by a UK team in Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH; East Jerusalem, Israel). All logistical help on the ground was provided by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA; West Bank, occupied Palestinian territory), Juzoor for Health and Development (Ramallah, occupied Palestinian territory), and the AVH staff.1

The 2012 annual course led to the establishment of a local Palestinian faculty, through involvement of senior Palestinian surgeons in preparing the BSSC specimens used for practical sessions.3 A local Palestinian faculty building was used for formal training, with train-the-trainer style sessions, which prefaced the 2013 course.4 


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