Department of Surgery, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, USA,
On May 22 2015, the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted resolution WHA68.15, "Strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anesthesia as a component of universal health coverage (UHC)." For the first time, governments worldwide acknowledged and recognized surgery and anesthesia as key components of UHC and health systems strengthening. The resolution details and outlines the highest level of political commitments to address the public health gaps arising from lack of safe, affordable, and accessible surgical and anesthetic services in an integrated approach. This article reviews the background of resolution WHA68.15 and discusses how it can be of use to surgeons, anesthetists, advanced practice clinicians, nurses, and others caring for the surgical patients, especially in low- and middle-income countries.