The Right to Heal is a troubling film that exposes the enduring absence of surgery from current global health priorities and puts forth a strategy for closing the global surgical divide. An estimated 2 billion people lack access to surgical services when needed. Health system inertia is incompatible with today’s epidemiological shift: we can no longer afford not to treat conditions such as traumatic, obstetric, or abdominal emergencies, cancer, and congenital malformations.
The film addresses access versus quality; quick fixes versus long-term solutions; humanitarian assistance versus health-system strengthening. With these perspectives in mind, The Right to Heal is timely and engages the public and policy makers in the issues at hand revealing the poverty traps and devastating effects of insufficient surgery.