The 2015 Lancet Commission on global surgery identified surgery and anaesthesia as indispensable parts of holistic health-care systems. However, COVID-19 exposed the fragility of planned surgical services around the world, which have also been neglected in pandemic recovery planning. This study aimed to develop and validate a novel index to support local elective surgical system strengthening and address growing backlogs.

Elective surgery system strengthening: development, measurement, and validation of the surgical preparedness index across 1632 hospitals in 119 countries