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Adiguno S. Wicaksono, Daniel Agriva Tamba, Paulus Sudiharto, Endro Basuki, Handoyo Pramusinto, Rachmat Andi Hartanto, Chris Ekong, and Wiryawan Manusubroto

OBJECTIVE

Educating future neurosurgeons is of paramount importance, and there are many aspects that must be addressed within the process. One of the essential issues is the disproportion in neurosurgical care, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As stated in their report “Global Surgery 2030,” The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery has emphasized that the availability of adequate neurosurgical care does not match the burden of neurosurgical disease. A strong partnership with the local and national government is very desirable to improve the way everyone addresses this issue. In addition, international collaborative effort is absolutely essential for the transfer of knowledge and technology from a developed country to an LMIC. This paper shows what the authors have done in Yogyakarta to build an educational model that helps to improve neurosurgical care distribution in Indonesia and reduce the inequity between provinces.

METHODS

The authors gathered data about the number of neurosurgical procedures that were performed in the sister hospital by using data collected by their residents. Information about the distribution of neurosurgeons in Indonesia was adapted from the Indonesian Society of Neurological Surgeons.

RESULTS

The data show that there remains a huge disparity in terms of distribution of neurosurgeons in Indonesia. To tackle the issue, the authors have been able to develop a model of collaboration that can be applied not only to the educational purpose but also for establishing neurosurgical services throughout Indonesia. Currently they have signed a memorandum of understanding with four sister hospitals, while an agreement with one sister hospital has come to an end. There were more than 400 neurosurgical procedures, ranging from infection to trauma, treated by the authors’ team posted outside of Yogyakarta.

CONCLUSIONS

Indonesia has a high level of inequality in neurological surgery care. This model of collaboration, which focuses on the development of healthcare providers, universities, and related stakeholders, might be essential in reducing such a disparity. By using this model, the authors hope they can be involved in achieving the vision of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, which is “universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed.”

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Handoyo Pramusinto, Daniel Agriva Tamba, Yoyok Subagio, Tommy J. Numberi, Bangun Pramujo, Franklin L. Sinanu, Gheanita Ariasthapuri, Haryo Bismantara, and Andreasta Meliala

OBJECTIVE

The recent COVID-19 outbreak has forced notable adjustments to surgical procedure preparation, including neurosurgical services. However, due to the uniqueness of the recent situation, neurosurgical centers, especially those located in low-resource settings, are facing several challenges such as a lack of coordination, poor equipment, and shortage of medical personnel. Therefore, several guidelines from local authorities and international neurosurgical bodies have been published to help clinicians manage their patients. In addition, the academic health system (AHS), which is an integrated system containing a medical institution, universities, and a teaching hospital, may play some role in the management of patients during COVID-19. The objective of this study was to describe how each hospital in the authors’ network adjusted their neurosurgical practice and how the AHS of the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) played its role in the adaptation process during the pandemic.

METHODS

The authors gathered both local and national data about the number of COVID-19 infections from the government’s database. To assess the contribution of the AHS to the efforts of each hospital to address the pandemic, questionnaires were given to 6 neurosurgeons, 1 resident, and 2 general surgeons about the management of neurosurgical cases during the pandemic in their hospitals.

RESULTS

The data illustrate various strategies to manage neurosurgical cases by hospitals within the authors’ networks. The hospitals were grouped into three categories based on the transmission risk in each region. Most of these hospitals stated that UGM AHS had a positive impact on the changes in their strategies. In the early phase of the outbreak, some hospitals faced a lack of coordination between hospitals and related stakeholders, inadequate amount of personal protective equipment (PPE), and unclear regulations. As the nation enters a new phase, almost all hospitals had performed routine screening tests, had a sufficient amount of PPE for the medical personnel, and followed both national and international guidelines in caring for their neurosurgical patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The management of neurosurgical procedures during the outbreak has been a challenging task and a role of the AHS in improving patient care has been experienced by most hospitals in the authors’ network. In the future, the authors expect to develop a better collaboration for the next possible pandemic.