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Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Caribbean.

Authors
  • Vinck, Eric E1
  • Ebels, Tjark2
  • Hittinger, Romain3
  • Peterson, Tim F4
  • 1 Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Clínica Cardio VID, Medellín, Colombia. , (Colombia)
  • 2 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Groningen UMC, Groningen, Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 3 Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Martinique University Hospital, Fort-de-France, Martinique. , (France)
  • 4 Department of Surgery, Dr. Horacio Oduber Hospital, Oranjestad, Aruba. , (Aruba)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Brazilian journal of cardiovascular surgery
Publication Date
Oct 17, 2021
Volume
36
Issue
5
Pages
599–606
Identifiers
DOI: 10.21470/1678-9741-2020-0377
PMID: 33577262
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Despite being one of the main vacation destinations in the world, health care in the Caribbean faces many difficulties. The challenges involved in these islands' medical care range from low-resource institutions to lack of specialized care. In the field of thoracic and cardiac surgery, many limitations exist, and these include the lack of access to cardiac surgery for many small islands and little governmental funding for minimally invasive approaches in thoracic surgery. Literature review was done using PubMed/MEDLINE and Google Scholar databases to identify articles describing the characteristics of thoracic and cardiac surgery departments on Caribbean islands. Articles on the history, current states of practice, and advances in cardiothoracic surgery in the Caribbean were reviewed. Regardless of the middle to high-income profile of the Caribbean, there are significant differences in the speed of technological growth in cardiothoracic surgery from island to island, as well as disparities between the quality of care and resources. Many islands struggle to advance the field of cardiothoracic surgery both through lack of local cardiac surgery centers and limited financial funding for minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Cardiac and thoracic surgery in the Caribbean depend not only on the support from local government policies and proper distribution of healthcare budgets, but efforts by the surgeons themselves to change and improve institutional cultures. Although resource availability still remains a challenge, the Caribbean remains an important region that deserves special attention with regard to the unmet needs for long-term sustainability of chest surgery.

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