<Sebastiaan Van Meyel>
I am happy to announce that on the 12th of April 2018 Incision – The Netherlands hosted its first event in collaboration with Global Surgery Amsterdam (GSA) as well as the Netherlands Society for International Surgery (NSIS). Three organizations all concerned with global surgery on different levels.
The evening started off with an introduction followed by talks from all three organizations stressing the importance of surgical care in low resource settings and introducing their own respective work. Then – together with the necessary popcorn – the documentary “The Rebel Surgeon” was screened which describes the life of a Swedish surgeon operating in the outskirts of Ethiopia. A great movie which elicited both laughs and cries but was most importantly very relevant for the night’s topic. The way that the Swedish surgeon worked, doing any kind of operation, providing all possible help with low and improvised resources sparked admiration among most young students and doctors.
However, the older and experienced delegation of doctors present had its remarks on the film saying that in many parts of Africa improvements have been made and bureaucracy have been introduced and that the absence of rules in which this surgeon worked was not representable anymore. The combination of different generations created an excellent debate that went on for the rest of the evening. Among the topics that came up, the question of whether we should bring the very developed but bureaucratic health care system from the western world to the less developed countries of the world or wheter there might be a better way of implementing a new health care system. This debate went on for some time fueled with more popcorn and moderated by the tropical and plastic surgeon Matthijs Botman and the tropical and general surgery resident Jurre van Kesteren, who both have extensive experience with working in low resource settings. Jurre was deployed from 2014 to 2016 to Sierra Leone as a medical doctor in global health. Matthijs worked as a medical officer from 2009 until 2011 in the Republic of Congo as well as Tanzania. The evening came to an end with enlightenment about the urgent need of global surgery by all attendees. All in all, the evening was a blast. We started off with extending our network and plan to organize events like this in the future. Maybe we will get some great ideas from the International Global Surgery Symposium in Leuven this May!