Spine societies from across the globe discuss Spine Care for G20 countries at 4th SPINE20 Annual Summit

The fourth SPINE20 annual summit was held here, bringing spine societies from across the globe on a single platform to brainstorm recommendations for G20 countries on spine care. The two-day event was hosted by the Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI) at India Habitat Centre (IHC). On the opening day of the summit, the participants discussed a plan to address gaps and challenges in spine care in G-20 countries. Once the draft recommendations of Spine20 2023 are voted upon tomorrow, they will be finalized.

The annual summit, held in India this year, saw the participation of stalwart spine surgeons, rehabilitation experts, WHO officials, administrators, and consumers from all over the world who shared ideas to find innovative solutions regarding spine care and recovery from spinal diseases. The theme for this year is “One Earth, One Family, One Future, WITHOUT Spine DISABILITY”.

As per the developments on opening day of the summit, the participants reached a consensus that the plan would primarily include two components– spine care and spinal cord injury care. The objective would be to implement a person-centered, people-centered, biopsychosocial, proactive, evidence-based, integrative, collaborative, and self-sustaining National Program of Spine Care. In this regard, National registries for back pain and spinal cord injury would need to be established.

The components of such a plan would include program objectives, development of national registry, strategies and interventions for prevention, resources required for management of spinal ailments, grading of spinal care centers, training of manpower, setting goals and milestones for program, and monitoring of program.

Prevention programs would need to be designed and implemented. A pyramidal network of spinal care centers would need to be established. Goals and milestones for the Program need to be monitored and achievement of goals will need to be monitored. Once there is consensus with the government on the above, the economics could be worked out, according to the Day 1 discussion.

SPINE20 is an advocacy group founded in 2019 by EUROSPINE, the German Spine Society, North American Spine Society, and the Saudi Spine Society. In addition, the group has 33 partner societies from across the globe. ASSI, the host of the event, is one of the partner societies. 17 spine professional and consumer societies from all over India joined hands to make this program a success. 24 partner societies from across the globe participated in the event.

Speakers and experts from G20 countries like Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Portugal participated in the high-profile event. Among the esteemed guests and speakers were Amitabh Kant, former Niti Aayog CEO, and G20 Sherpa, and Ms. Alexandra Rauch, Consultant, WHO Rehabilitation Program 2030.

In his address at the event, Mr. Sami AlEissa, Speaker-Elect Spine 20, said, “There is a great need to focus on spine care, especially in India and other developing countries. Back pain and other spine conditions are the main reason for unmet rehabilitation needs in the population. Accessible and affordable spine care is the need of the hour. This is what Spine20 aims to achieve with G20 nations and with India at the helm of the G20 presidency, there is a great opportunity at hand.”

“At least eighty percent of the population will experience back pain at some stage of their life. Back pain is the commonest cause of disability in most countries across the globe. There is a great need to focus on improving spine wellness, especially in underserved areas, and to alleviate the burden of spine disease. Spine20 2023 assumes special importance this year since the subdomains for the various symposiums align with the major priorities decided by the Indian Government as a focus for this year’s G20 presidency. One of the main recommendations of the year to G20 countries is to have a ‘National Spine Care Program’,” says Dr. HS Chhabra, Chairperson, Spine20 2023 and Executive committee member Spine20.

Dr. Saumyajit Basu, President, Association of Spine Surgeons of India, Kolkata said, “We are glad to admit that we have a healthy participation from spine surgeons, rehabilitation experts, and industry stakeholders at the event. Such forums will help spine surgeons and rehabilitation specialists in India as well as abroad to address gaps in spine care, treatment, rehabilitation, and research. Association of Spine Surgeons of India is happy to engage in this evidence-based advocacy initiative to inform our governments about the need to focus on spine disorders.”

Pertinent to mention here that the summit has been organized during India’s G20 presidency, as the county endeavors to find pragmatic solutions for the well-being of all.

The two-day summit was organized in the form of a scientific program that is divided into multiple mini-symposia formatting. Throughout the event, there were seven symposia and one session addressing the most important issues related to spine care. In addition, there were six keynote lectures by world experts from different backgrounds.

SPINE20 is a global effort to improve spine care by recommending policies to G20 countries and beyond to alleviate the burden of spine disease through various means, such as stimulating better spine health, advancing spine research, enhancing spine innovation pathways, and improving spine care and treatments through policies and government support.


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