The Right to Heal at the International Orthopaedic Surgery Summit in San Francisco

The Right to Heal was screened at the closing of the 3-day International Orthopaedic Wound Management Summit on September 16, 2013 at San Francisco General Hospital, hosted by the Institute for Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology, IGOT.

Over 50 surgeons from 17 countries like Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and the Philippines attended to learn more than 20 techniques in orthopaedic wound care. Jaymie Ang Henry, M.D., M.P.H and producer of The Right to Heal, spoke after the screening on the need for a WHO policy change so that surgery is made a global primary health care concern and emphasized the message of the film's patients and caregivers who demonstrate how surgery will, and does, change the lives of those who have timely access to it.

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The surgeons, in a discussion sparked by the film, acknowledged that while surgery is accessible in the larger city hospitals in their countries, the rural areas, which are admittedly under resourced, would greatly benefit from localized healthcare education to inform the patients and the traditional bone setters of the need to make timely orthapaedic referrals for surgery.

A request was made for information about locating and partnering with non-government organizations so that medical providers and town leaders are able to reach out for assistance and the surgeons are able to locate the right organizations to contribute and participate.  Dr. Henry urged the surgeons to maintain contact with IGOT as well as The Right to Heal, speak to their governments and Ministers of Health, provide data sets, pass along their knowledge by teaching, and to join in moving global surgery policy forward until it takes its' rightful place on the world stage.

Several surgeons from different areas in the Philippines who had just met at the summit joined together in response to Dr. Henry's request to affect treatment for one of the film's subjects. Rodney is a 7 year old boy, now 8, living in the Philippines and unable to attend school due to complications of living with clubfoot. In this way, the film is achieving notable goals, in bringing treatment to Rodney, who would have otherwise gone unnoticed and without care.

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The Right to Heal looks forward to continued exposure from future screenings and thanks the surgeons that attended the summit for viewing the film and for joining them in support of this global surgery movement.

Special Thanks to Amber Caldwell,  Director of Development at Institute for Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology (IGOT) for our invitation to screen The Right to Heal.