SPINE20 urges G20 nation to prioritize spine care, implement National Spine Care Programs

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National Spine Care Programs

Calling for a proactive approach to prioritize spine care in national health programs, the fourth SPINE20 annual summit has come up with recommendations for G20 countries, with a focus on raising awareness on the issue and ensuring accessible and affordable quality care.

Spine societies from across the globe were gathered on a single platform to brainstorm recommendations for G20 countries on spine care at the two-day event. The annual summit was hosted by the Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI).

“The draft recommendations for SPINE20 2023, which were voted upon and finalized on the second day of the event laid focus on eliminating structural barriers to accessing timely rehabilitation for back pain to reduce poverty. The final recommendations also called for raising awareness of how everyday lifestyle decisions– regarding wellness, physical activity, smoking, and nutrition– affect the world’s resources and spine health” says Dr. HS Chhabra, Chair Spine20 2023 and Chief of Spine and Rehabilitation Centre at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute.

Other recommendations included implementing cost-effective, evidence-based practice for digital transformation in spine care, delivering self-management and prevention, evaluating practice, and measuring outcomes. The high-level discussions on spine care called for supporting the development, implementation, and evaluation of standardization processes for spine care delivery systems encompassing genomic, psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of population health needs.

In addition, the final recommendations included raising awareness of safety lapses in primary care including risk factors of spinal disability and chronicity, and ensuring accessible and affordable quality care to persons with spine-related disorders, deformities, and injuries throughout the lifespan. The main highlight of the recommendations was for G20 countries to prioritize and implement a National Spinal Care program to improve spine care.

The theme for this year was “One Earth, One Family, One Future WITHOUT Spine DISABILITY”. The Spine20 recommendations are compiled through a meticulous process. SPINE20 ‘Scientific task force’ members and ‘Recommendation and Publication Taskforce’ members representing 37 Spine Societies from 29 countries coordinated the development of recommendations for this year. Both taskforces involve multidisciplinary panels including surgeons, rehabilitation clinicians, researchers, epidemiologists, primary care physicians, education professionals, and strategic health leaders. 

The recommendations for 2023 are based on domains that were selected by the Delphi consensus process on January 30 this year. Subdomains are designed to focus the activities within each domain. The candidate recommendations were discussed and refined at the Scientific Task Force through weekly online meetings between February 6 and June 5, 2023. An online consensus meeting was held on June 12, 2023, using the real-time Delphi method to select the final recommendations.