Wherever we screen the film, we're used to seeing increased enthusiasm and support for the cause of making surgery available to all people. However, last week in the United Kingdom, The Right to Heal made huge strides. After screening the film in Belfast (see blog post here) on April 2, we screened the film at the UK Parliament.
Hosting the event at the House of Parliament were Lord Ribeiro, Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Health and Baroness Jenny Tonge, Chair of the APPG on Population, Development and Reproductive Health.
At the conclusion of the film, many important topics were discussed by a panel consisting of Dr Jaymie Ang-Henry, Director and Executive Producer of ‘The Right to Heal’ and Executive Director, ICES; Mr Michael Cotton, Chair, ICES; and Dr Iain Wilson, Past President, Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland and Board Member, Lifebox Foundation.
The panel introduced the philosophy behind the making of the film, which included questioning why there is inequity amongst the world as to who has access to surgery and who does not; exploring some of the reasons for this phenomena.
They also fielded questions from the Parliament, which prompted a discussion on the following important points:
- Education and training is vital (and is currently inadequate) for those in LMICs in poor countries.
- The concept of access to surgery being a "right" not a privilege just for those citizens of the world who happen to live in a wealthy nation.
- The movement to make essential surgery part of the Sustainable Development Goal post-2015.
- The message of the film needs to be carried forward and out into the wider public domain – Jaymie discussed some initiatives which have already taken place. There is a plan to send the film to the Royal Colleges and the Royal College of Nursing has offered to provide support. Look for a screening with them soon!
The APPG listing of the event can be found here: http://www.appg-globalhealth.org.uk/events/4556655533