Day Surgery Care is the future of Healthcare

It is well recognised that more than 75% of surgical procedures could be carried out as day surgery.

Day surgery is defined as patient receiving surgical treatment and returning home the same day. That treatment must be performed in an operating theatre and necessitates any type of anaesthesia. Cases like endoscopy are not included in day surgery basket.

In the past, there were too many restrictions to who should be considered for day surgery care. Nowadays, any case could be possibly carried out as day surgery unless advised otherwise.

There are many advantages for day surgery:

  • It allows patient a quick return to their daily activities
  • Risks of hospital acquired infection and blood clot are very small
  • Clinicians deliver high quality care to patients while preserving hospital beds for major surgical procedures
  • The Hospital benefits from a rapid flow of patients and reduction of patients waiting time
  • The cost of surgery for the Hospital, Medical insurances and patients is reduced.

Why Day Surgery is the future of Healthcare?

Cost Pressure

Cost of Healthcare is a burden on many Governments. It constitutes a least 9% of the Gross Domestic Product of most European Countries. It is estimated that cost will be doubled in 20-year time.

Medical insurances and other Health covers like ‘Mutuelle’ strive to minimise expenses paid to Hospitals and doctors. In certain Countries, such the United Kingdom (UK), if a case is listed as day surgery, insurances would authorise only payment for day surgery and would not pay for a night of hospitalisation

Health economic requirements

Money does not always mean better health and better service efficiency. Countries like UK and Finland spend less and have better health outcomes and service efficiency. In the UK, where days surgery is carried out in more than 85% of all surgical cases, the number of Hospital beds has been reduced over the years; meaning less waste of resources.

On the other hand, keeping the population active and mobile contributes in reducing days of sickness and maintaining tax contributions

Day surgery is the norm in many counties.

While day surgery is scarcely organized as a practice in Morocco and gathering pace in France, Countries like UK perform day surgery in more than 85% of the cases. It is estimated that if that trend continues, 1,5 million added surgical cases would be performed in 2024 in comparison to 2014.

There is less interest in healthcare as profession

Nowadays, people have less interests in pursuing a career in Medicine for obvious reasons. It takes long-time to be a doctor and to earn decent salaries. Current generations prefer a work-life balance and are not keen on working nights and weekends. There are better rewards in other professions such as Information Technology (IT), Banking and Investments.

Population is growing

It is estimated the world population would almost reach 10 billion by year 2050. People will live longer. The pension age is rising in many countries; it is currently set at 65 years in many countries. That means the population has to work longer and there is a need to keep them mobile. It also means there would be more need for healthcare treatments.

Generation Y

Millennials or generation Y are those who were born in the 1980s and 1990s, comprising primarily the children of the baby boomers and typically perceived as increasingly familiar with digital and electronic technology. They are much keener in new ways of work, are IT and social media dependent, more interested in social and family life. They tend to choose careers where there is more flexibility and more social/ family time.

Change in work habit

There are more and more self-employed people. Companies tend to employ freelancer for obvious reasons. In the United States, 50% of the active population will self-employed by 2020. A self-employed person has better control of his business, time and earnings.

However, they cannot afford to be out work for longer time. Which means they would prefer day surgery in case they need a surgical treatment.

Advances in technology, surgical and anaesthetic techniques

Key hole surgery and endoscopic surgery has overtaken open surgery in many surgical specialties. Key whole surgery allows quicker recovery of patients. Surgeons are getting skilled in minimally invasive surgery and would prefer day surgery as it allows better outcomes and less complications. It is estimated that more than half of knee and hip surgical procedures would be carried out as day surgery by 2026.

Modern anaesthesia has enormously contributed in promoting day surgery thanks to new medicines and devises that allow patients to recover quickly without complications.

Some surgical disciplines have completely changed

Vascular surgery for example is a specialty that has completely changed. Surgical cases that needed open surgery, demanding heavy anaesthesia, long surgery, massive blood transfusion and more that 10 days stay in the Hospital are currently carried out as day surgery in the Radiology suite without presence of anaesthetist. The rate of innovation in surgery is so fast that many other procedures would be transformed in day surgery and shorter stay surgery.

What does all these means?

As stated above, day surgery has become the norm in many developed countries. Patients in those countries have now got accustomed to the idea of day surgery. Hospitals have made provisions to accommodate more day surgery care and Medical Insurances have adopted new tariffs of payments.

In Morocco, where days surgery is still scarce, Health professional, Government and Investors should bear in mind points below when it comes to planning healthcare in the future:

Hospital designs should be more adapted the needs of day surgery. More attention should be paid to design that allow a smooth patient’s pathway. The number of dedicated day care surgery should be carefully planned to ensure efficient operating theatre activity

Medical and nursing training should be updated to highlight changes that occurred in surgical practices in the last few years. Some of the textbooks must be rewritten to include new ways of surgical practice.

Day surgery offer new opportunities of work to respond to lack of healthcare professional and the lifestyle of Millennials. An 08:00 till 17:00 job would be attractive to many people.

Cost of healthcare would be more affordable for Hospitals, medical insurances and patients. It would allow Governments to cover more population for less cost, including those in rural areas.

Less damage to the economy; Keeping population mobile means less days of sickness and more contribution towards tax coffers. It also allows self-employed to continue to earn while quickly recovering from their surgical procedures

Clinicians and other healthcare professionals would continuously seek to innovate in order to either include new day surgical procedures or improve existing ones.

Days surgery is less costly and less demanding in matters of number of beds. It permits more equality and accessibility to healthcare in under developed countries and in remote areas within countries

Overall, there is great advantage to patients because day surgery offers choice and better recovery profile.

What is the situation in Morocco?

There are great advantages in developing the practice for the reasons mentioned above. In a country, like Morocco, it allows wider cheap healthcare cover of the population. Perhaps, the trend could change as population are a more aware of the benefits of day surgery and more pressure is exerted by Medical Insurances such as ‘Mutuelles’ to reduce their cost.

It does make sense that if a procedure could be done as day surgery, why pay the Hospital a night stay, whatever the cost of that night.

Day Surgery services are the norm in many developed countries. There are enormous benefits to patients, mainly quicker recovery and less Hospital complications. There are innovative ways to tackle healthcare challenges and reduce healthcare bill.

Setting up a service of Day Surgery is possible with the support of the right expertise.

The most important factor to succeed in establishing a Day Surgery Service is a strong leadership from a surgeon or an anesthetist.