Very little is known about how much is spent on surgical care delivery globally. Anecdotal evidence suggests that per-person expenditure on surgery varies enormously across countries. This cross-country and intervention-specific variation makes estimating global and country-level expenditure on surgery challenging; thus, these expenditure figures have not been produced to date. This gap in knowledge about funding to surgery is a major barrier to scale-up of surgical services, because it means that policymakers are unaware of the potential growth in expenditure associated with changes in care.


Dieleman JL, Yamey G, Johnson EK, Graves CM, Haakenstad A, Meara JG. Tracking global expenditures on surgery: gaps in knowledge hinder progress. The Lancet Global Health. 2015 April 27. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(15)70075-6